If there were any doubts about the interest that the first diagnostic self-test for the covid offered for sale would raise, the first sales data dissipate them: in just over two days and only in one of the two chains that already make this device available, more than 10,000 units. “We have a great adhesion and demand from the Portuguese”, acknowledge the heads of Well’s, the parapharmacy chain of the Sonae group.
The self-tests for Covid went on sale on Thursday at Well’s and Pingo Doce stores. Each unit costs about seven euros and can be purchased by anyone over 18 and applied at home without the intervention of a health professional.
Despite having received more than 30 requests for authorization for sale, so far Infarmed has only approved a “rapid antigen test for professional use by laymen”. The device in question, exempt from VAT and prescription but not reimbursed by the State, is manufactured in South Korea and is being distributed by the pharmaceutical company Roche.
The great advantage of the test is that it can be done by anyone, since it does not imply taking the sample in the naso-pharynx, but a little lower, in the nasal area. The swab that is used is therefore shorter than the tests performed by health professionals. And the results take between 15 to 30 minutes.
If the result is positive, it must be transmitted to the SNS 24 line so that it can then be confirmed by a PCR test. Registration can also be done on an online platform that will be made available by DGS but which is not yet operational.
According to the results obtained in clinical trials, the test detected 83 at home 100 people with covid-19. That is, the sensitivity is lower and implies that the sample is well collected.
In view of the great demand in these first days, Well’s says that it aims to “have tests always available in all stores”. In the case of Pingo Doce, the sale will be carried out in parapharmacies (with a counter) but also inside the supermarkets of this chain.
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