Since the government of Peru implemented some detection centers for tests COVID-19Long lines have been seen in different parts of the capital. However, a pharmaceutical product could change the way the virus is detected in our body and it is the COVID-19 self-test.
Faced with this problem, the head of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), Hernando Cevallos, reported this Monday that the COVID-19 autotest are authorized to be marketed nationally. “People can go and buy it. And while there may be a margin for error, it also helps. We in no way disqualify that the person goes and can go to acquire this test to do it “, the head of Minsa specified in an interview with Exitosa.
Many questions come to mind with this device. How does it work? Where is it acquired? How much? How long do I get the results? To begin with, as confirmed by the minister, the tests can already be purchased in pharmacies and drugstores nationwide.
This is the equivalent of an antigen test, so there is a margin of error. One of the products sold in Peru is the SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self Nasal Test from the Roche laboratory. This product comes with a swab that is inserted into the nose, a test device and tubes with liquids for testing.
As indicated in the instructions, the person should tilt the head back, insert the swab with the soft pad forward into the left nostril, slide two centimeters parallel to the palate, until resistance is met. Once there, rotate four times for 15 seconds against the lining of the nostril. The same procedure will be performed in the other nostril.
This swab is put into a tube with a liquid. It is then placed in the test device. The results have to be read after 15 minutes and before 30 minutes.
There are two letters on the test device. The C stands for control line that shows if the test is working properly, while T is the test line that indicates the status of the infection.
If there is no C line, the result is invalid, that is, that test did not work and another must be done. If lines C and T appear, this indicates that the test worked correctly and that the result is positive, even if the lines are faint, and it is very likely that the person has COVID-19. If only C appears and not T, then the result is negative, then it is unlikely that you have COVID-19.
How much does the self-test cost? According to the National Association of Boticas Chains (Anacab) the price of this test will range between S / 20 and S / 45. They clarify that this cost will depend on the costs of the manufacturer and the brand. “Pharmacies and drugstores do not import directly, it depends on existing local availability, which is why the origin of the tests will be subject to the manufacturing laboratories,” they point out.
MORE INFORMATION TO THE USER
Gustavo Rosell, Deputy Minister of Public Health, commented on Tuesday that the self-test tests are for the private sector, and are for sale in some private pharmacies. “What we have done is to verify the ease of its application and that the instructions can be understood and applied by the people who are going to purchase this product. Our understanding is that the application is not so simple and the instructions are not so clear “, he asserted.
He added that as the Ministry of Health they will issue a statement that makes it easier for people to apply this self-test, and that they know what to do in case they come out positive or negative, understanding that in some cases there are false negatives. “As we always say at the Minsa, what prevails is the clinical criterion over any result of a diagnostic test. In the coming days, we are already working on the communications and orientations of the case “, he indicated.
Meanwhile, Ángela Flores, executive director of the Association of Pharmaceutical Laboratories of Peru (Alafarpe), pointed out that This innovation will serve as a complement to the Minsa’s strategy against COVID-19 and a decentralizing vision that can lead to self-testing with quality inputs.
He commented that this test has already been applied in countries with high health surveillance since last year, having positive results. Even in many states with more funding in the health sector, the ministries carry out platforms so that citizens can report the results of the self-test.
What we have today in Peru is access to the product that It can be purchased in chains and pharmacies. As a union, they undertake to contribute to the correct use of these devices.
“At this moment there are several brands that have received authorization. I believe that as stocks arrive in the country, this will motivate greater competition and we can have better economic conditions. Compared to the normal tests for detection of COVID-19, these are cheaper and that is something to highlight “, noted Flores.
He pointed out that it is important that this self-test be done when there is suspicion of infection and when there are symptoms. Returns the result in 15 or 30 minutes.