The World Health Organization didn’t offer Covid-19 tests to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told CNN on Tuesday.
There were no discussions between the WHO and CDC on providing tests, according to Jasarevic, who added that the US typically has the capacity to manufacture its own tests, so it doesn’t usually rely on the WHO for them.
Separate manufacturers: On January 17, the WHO published a protocol from German researchers with the instructions necessary for any country to manufacture coronavirus tests.
The US pursued its own design and began testing for the coronavirus at the CDC in Atlanta. On February 5, the CDC announced it would begin shipping test kits to public health labs in the US.
One day later, the WHO said it had shipped 250,000 tests to more than 70 laboratories around the world.
Delays and stumbles in US testing: Days after CDC’s tests shipped, some labs reported that the test kits were not working as expected, which eventually required tests to be re-manufactured.
On March 1, an official at US Health and Human Services said the agency had launched an investigation into a manufacturing defect in the CDC tests.
As of March 9, public health labs in all 50 states and Washington, DC, are able to test for the coronavirus.