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Health Ministry approves rapid COVID-19 testing in pharmacies

ioana mihăilă

Health Minister Ioana Mihaila, signed on Monday an order for the diagnosis of COVID-19 using rapid antigen tests in pharmacies.

According to a press statement released by the Ministry of Health, pharmacies can opt for the testing after obtaining a temporary approval issued in electronic format by the county public health directorates and the Bucharest public health directorate.

The approval is valid for six months, and pharmacies can request successive six-month extensions.

"Training the staff involved in the testing activity will be organised free of charge by the Romanian College of Pharmacists, in collaboration with the Order of General Nurses, Midwives and Nursing Assistants of Romania, based on a training procedure subject to a collaboration protocol approved by the Ministry of Health that will be concluded 10 working days of the date of publication of the order in the Official Journal, at the latest," the release reads.

According to the ministry, pharmacies will use only rapid antigen tests to diagnose COID-19 in the nasopharynx.

"They can get the fast antigen tests from the Ministry of Health, free of charge, through the county public health directorates, or the Bucharest Public Health Directorate, while stock last. The testing is performed primarily with the tests received from the Ministry of Health, not for trade. The testing service will be performed in accordance with the law," the Health Ministry maintains.

After testing, pharmacies issue an electronically signed test report to the tested persons.

They are also under an obligation to report to the county public health directorates, or the Bucharest Public Health Directorate, as the case may be, the results of all the tests performed and the developments in stocks.

"Testing has a key role to play in limiting the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Proper use of rapid, large-scale testing and ensuring a short time between request for and access to testing, which implicitly means a rapid outcome, plays a significant role in reducing the spread of the virus. These regulations will allow people with COVID-19 suspicions or symptoms to get tested quickly, in an accessible and safe way," the Health Minister said.

The order was published on Monday evening in the Official Journal.

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