Biden's administration buys 500 million at-home rapid tests to tackle Omicron
The BBC reported that US President Joe Biden's administration is to make 500 million rapid tests for Covid available free, amid new measures to tackle the surging Omicron variant.
It said that 500 million at-home rapid tests (antigen/flow) will be bought and delivered free to all Americans who request them from January. Kits can currently cost $7-$15 (£5-£11) over-the-counter and availability can be sketchy in some areas
Omicron has become the dominant strain in the US, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all new cases.
And although 73% of adult Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid, the administration remains concerned about those who have not had jabs.
According to the BBC, Mr Biden will address the nation later, telling people to protect themselves as the holiday season gets under way.
He will say in his address later that even vaccinated Americans are going to be infected by the new variant, but that they will become far less sick than the unvaccinated.
He will stress the need for mask wearing, particularly when travelling, and caution while celebrating.
Reuters reported, Covid-19 cases in the US are up 57% since the start of this month.
US official said, the Biden administration insists it has "the tools to get through this wave", adding: "There is no need to lock down our schools, nor our economy."