Covid self-test kits available to buy at pharmacies from next week

MONDAY, JULY 12, 2021

Rapid antigen self-test kits will be available in hospitals this week before being offered for sale by pharmacies next week, according to health authorities.

The move is being taken to combat the long queues for RT-PCR Covid-19 tests, Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Kiattipoom Wongrachit said on Monday.

However, the rapid antigen test kit is only 90-per-cent accurate, so the more reliable RT-PCR test will be used to confirm positive results in cases with obvious symptoms.

Asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people who test positive can isolate at home or at a community facility, he said.

Those in home or community isolation will be treated by health workers, who will check their temperature, oxygen and medication twice a day. They will also be tested frequently with the antigen kit.

The price of a rapid test kit is expected to be less than 500 baht.

However, if people with severe symptoms test negative using this kit, they should contact the nearest clinic for support, said Kiattipoom.

Meanwhile, the ministry and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have set up 188 teams of health workers to take care of the 2,500 or so Covid patients with mild symptoms who are isolating at home or in community facilities.