Amazon Limits Sales Of COVID Home Tests To 10 Per Person

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Dec 22, 2021 - 04:10 PM

Looks like President Biden beat Amazon to the punch when he unveiled plans earlier this week that he would buy and distribute 500M COVID tests to Americans starting ASAP.

The e-commerce giant has been so heavily inundated with orders for tests ahead of the holidays that it has opted to limit purchases of the at-home PCR tests kits to 10 units per shopper for the time being, according to CNBC.

An Amazon spokesperson told CNBC that the company is experiencing inventory shortages on some Covid tests due to increased demand. The company is working to secure additional Covid test inventory from its selling partners, the spokesperson said.

Well, we have some news for Amazon: it can try as hard as it wants to secure more tests, but President Biden's latest purchase from the government might ultimately prove redundant since it's looking increasingly likely that Americans and their insurance companies might have paid for them instead.

With rising COVID case numbers in the US fueling the latest wave of holiday travel paranoia, pharmacy chains Walgreens and CVS Health also said Tuesday that they would limit how many at-home COVID tests customers can purchase both in-store and online.

Other COVID tests aside from the PCR test (seen as the gold standard) are also seeing their case numbers surge.

Meanwhile, tests available from other vendors on the Amazon marketplace have also been capped. The top-selling at-home COVID test, made by California-based iHealth Labs, was limited to five tests per person.

It's up to third-party sellers and vendors to set their own purchase limits, an Amazon spokesperson said, though the same spokesperson didn’t respond to questions from CNBC and other media outlets asking when it began experiencing test shortages.

As producers scramble to produce new tests at an unprecedented clip, on the other side of the world, it appears the omicron "wave" that just yesterday Bill Gates said would be responsible for the worst COVID wave yet is already fizzling in South Africa, seen as the crucible of the new variant, sees a significant drop in cases that has taken the rate of transmission back below the critical "1" mark.