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Self-tests for Covid-19 at Greece’s pharmacies: Another Gov’t flop?

The first Covid-19 self-tests were delivered at the pharmacies and Athens and Thessaloniki and pharmacists were surprised to see that they were not in individual kits but in bulk packages of 25 pieces.

Speaking to media on Wednesday morning, pharmacists complained that it is they who will now have to make the tests in individual packages, along with all the “spare parts” in order to be able to distribute them to each person eligible to one per week. some of the “spare parts” were for rapid tests and not for self-tests, some claimed.

The materials for conducting the self-test are divided by type, in separate packages, the pharmacists said.

They are required to follow a specific procedure, in a disinfected area, using a mask, etc. devoting some extra hours to work. In this context, she expresses the view that the state should compensate pharmacists both for the process of “sorting” the tests and for the training of the staff.

Denying any responsibility or error, Minister of Development and Investment, Adonis Georgiadis, claimed that the pharmacists knew that they would receive packages of 25 pieces for the self-tests.

“Nowhere in the world is there more packaging than that of 25 pieces. There are individuals in Germany that are sold for a lot of money. There are twenty-five free self-tests around the world. “He was fully aware of the pharmacists,” he said.

“The process of purchasing, announcing the competition, distributing self-tests and creating the electronic platform, in my eyes seems like a miracle for the Greek public. When we announced that we would do it, I did not think that we would be able to do it within the schedule we had set. And yet everything went smoothly and we did it “, he pointed out.

According to information of newspaper kathimerini, in many pharmacies the packages of self-tests were hit or even opened, causing concern for the quality and reliability of the products.

The government decided to distribute Covid-19 self-tests free of charge as it plans to end the 5-month long lockdown and open to tourism with priority being the return of high-school students to schools.

Priority group for these tests are high-school students aged 16-18 and secondary education teachers. According to the government plan, the tests can be obtained in the urban centers on Thursday and in the rest of Greece from Friday, April 9, 2021.

Each pharmacy will be initially given an equal starting amount of 75 antigen self-tests. The government said last week that 10 million test kits will be available – but miracles occur slowly in Greece….

The online platform  will initially open only with the AMKA social security number of students and teachers. Therefore, the remaining beneficiaries – citizens aged 18 to 67 years old and those over 67 years old – should not go to pharmacies to obtain free self tests this week.

In platform “testing.gov.gr” those with positive test have to register is scheduled to open later today, Wednesday afternoon.

PS Now Greeks have been mocking the tests in bulks and recall the big flop with the oversized face masks for school children last autumn.

And some “real mean Greeks” report on TV that the self-tests in 25-packages are for laboratory use only.

But on the bright side, at least, each pharmacy did not receive 75 pregnancy tests…

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