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Japan’s health ministry has asked testing facilities for COVID-19 not to rely heavily on chemicals produced by one foreign company, as authorities are concerned that a supply shortage could complicate efforts to increase the country’s capacity to carry out polymerase chain reaction tests, sources said Tuesday.

The chemicals necessary for coronavirus test kits, known as reagents, depending on their types, are becoming increasingly difficult to procure due to high global demand by countries desperate to beat the COVID-19 respiratory disease, as well as increased virus testing at airports.

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