The tests started to be distributed in pharmacies on April 2 and up until today, “the SNS 24 registered 114 contacts of asymptomatic users who reported a positive self-test result”, said SPMS in response to the Lusa agency.

“When users transmit an inconclusive or positive result, a request for a Covid-19 laboratory test (RT-PCR) is automatically issued”, explain the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health (SPMS).

About 100,000 Covid-19 self-tests have already been distributed to pharmacies in the country, announced today ADIFA, a non-profit association that represents “full-service pharmaceutical distributors”, who ensure “several times a day, a timely and continuous supply in pharmacies nationwide, without exception or differentiation”.

“Following the extension of the national testing strategy to SARS-Cov-2, allowing citizens to use rapid antigen tests on the new coronavirus (self-tests), full-service pharmaceutical distributors are committed to speedy and efficient availability of self-tests to community pharmacies and, consequently, the population”, ADIFA said in a statement.

He adds that, “within the scope of its public health mission, the sector has been responding daily to different needs, contributing to an adequate access to personal protective equipment, alcohol gel, self-tests throughout the country, in addition to supplying continuity of the most varied medications, medical devices and other health technologies”.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese Pharmacy Association (AFP) today told the Lusa agency that the demand for rapid antigen testing of Covid-19 has stabilized in these commercial establishments, after a sharp peak during Easter.

According to the association chaired by Manuela Pacheco, currently, the demand for these rapid tests, which are being sold at a price of less than seven euros a unit, “stabilized”, with AFP predicting that “it will increase proportionally to the evolution of the national epidemiological situation”.

Rapid antigen tests were authorized, allowing the population to self-test for Covid-19, following an exceptional regime approved by the Government. The National Medicines Authority (Infarmed) has already authorized the marketing of two self-tests in Portugal from the manufacturers “Genrui Biotech Inc” and “SD Biosensor, Inc”, which can be sold individually or in sets of five and 25 tests.

The rules are contained in a joint circular letter from the Director General of Health (DGS), and the National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA), published on March 19 and which defines the criteria for inclusion, operationalization of use and reporting of Covid-19 self-tests results, which can only be dispensed to people over 18 years of age.

Between March 1st of last year and April 7th of 2021, around 9.4 million PCR tests and rapid antigen tests were carried out in Portugal, almost the number of the Portuguese population, according to data from INSA.