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Covid-19 testing kits available

By Isabel Shaw

13 Mar 2020

Pharmadoctor has launched Covid-19 test kits for pharmacy staff to use to protect themselves and patients against the virus.

The kits use a sample of blood from a finger prick, which can then be analysed, and a result given in 10 minutes.

They can only be used by pharmacy teams to routinely test themselves for coronavirus, so they can quickly identify the infection and self-isolate if necessary.

They must not be sold to or used by patients, the MHRA has said.

Pharmadoctor CEO, Graham Thoms, said he hopes the kits will help ‘alleviate some of the burden from the NHS by reassuring people using the kits of their infection status to minimise disruption’.

This comes as the government announced yesterday (12 March) that it had moved into the delay phase of the pandemic.

Advice was also updated, such that anyone with a temperature of 37.8 or higher and a new, continuous cough, should stay home for seven days.

Public Health England also revised its advice for people working in a healthcare setting.

Earlier this week, Public Health England announced it would be supplying community pharmacists with personal protective equipment (PPE), to help protect pharmacy staff from patients who they think may be carrying with the virus. 

This comes as the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) signed off its re-registration arrangements, which could see up to 5,800 deregistered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians drafted in to support the sector in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

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