Friday 3 February 2023

Covid-19 self-tests: where to get them and how much they cost

Home tests that people can use to determine if they have been infected with the virus that causes covid-19. Results in minutes.

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QCOSTARICA – Antigen self-tests to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, are already within the reach in Costa Rica, as these devices are offered in pharmacies throughout the country and other distribution centers.

The demand has been growing.

This is one of the home tests that people use to determine if they have been infected with the virus that causes covid-19. Results in minutes.

Most pharmacies sell the Roche nasal self-test. However, the Ministry of Health authorized the importation of 1,367,500 tests of seven different brands, which, little by little, will enter the market.

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“The tests arrived less than a week ago and therefore we hope that people will increase their purchase as they become aware of the availability, ease and reliability of use. However, we have had very interesting requests from people who have massive activities and want to do them safely,” confirmed Cuestamoras Salud, which operates La Bomba and Fischel pharmacies.

Both La Bomba and Fischel price the test kits (five tests) at ¢34,500. They can be purchased online through https://farmacialabomba.com/ and https://www.fischelenlinea.com/ or at their retail outlets.

“The real benefit that these tests specifically provide is those patients who have suspicions or by nexus. If I take a home test and it was positive, I should isolate; It is important to mention that it does not generate any health order or disability, to have access to it you should carry out confirmation by means of PCR,” explained José Carlos Vargas, head of Farmacias La Botica.

“If we are symptomatic and we do a home test that gives us a negative result, what is recommended is to rule it out through a laboratory test,” he added.

La Botica sells the test kit for ¢39.,500 (¢33,575 for Medistart) and has 655 tests available, indicates their website at the time of this publication.

Equitron also sells the five tests kit for ¢39,500 for the kit, with a maximum of two kits per customer.

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At FarmaValue, purchases can be made through their app, by phone or at retail outlets. The price is ¢34,500.

At the Hospital Clínica Bíblica the price for the kit is ¢33,500.

The Ministry of Health reminds us that if a positive result is obtained, it is advisable to go to a laboratory for a confirmatory diagnosis. On the other hand, a negative result increases the chance of not having the infection but does not rule it out.

Although the price may seem high, consider that the prices of antigen tests in the laboratory cost about ¢25,000 each, so you have to weigh what is most convenient – a single laboratory-quality test or five that you can perform at home or place of work.

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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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