SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) — Exports of South Korean quarantine products to Africa have rocketed this year thanks to Seoul’s good handling of the coronavirus pandemic, data showed Wednesday.

Shipments of diagnostic agents to 49 sub-Saharan countries stood at US$49.84 million in the first nine months of this year, about 25 times higher than the amount a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

The stratospheric rise resulted from soaring demand for coronavirus tests, making diagnostic agents South Korea’s top medical export item to Africa.

South Korea also exported polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits worth $45.75 million during the January-September period, up 1,288 percent from a year earlier.

Exports of in vitro diagnostic kits more than quadrupled to about $4 million over the cited period, and shipments of face shields jumped 23 percent to $3.48 million.

South Korea exported $2.8 million worth of face masks, with exports of ventilators coming to $733,000, roughly 26 times the year-earlier value.

KOTRA said several countries have recently signed deals with South Korean medical companies to buy their products, including a $5 million contract to export test kits to South Africa.