By Tara Rippin • 04 February 2021 • 10:05
CREDIT: UVA VPR Twitter
Pharmacies in Galicia are offering free saliva testing for Covid in a new pilot programme launched today, Thursday, February 4.
PHARMACISTS will offer the voluntary saliva test free of charge to people between 40 and 69 years to detect asymptomatic cases.
Members of the public will be able to take the sample at home and deliver it to the pharmacy to be analysed using a pooling technique.
This screening will initially be offered by pharmacists in Pontevedra, but it is expected to be extended to the rest of the Galician provinces.
A tube will be given to those who take up the offer, to carry out the diagnostic test first thing in the morning, before having any breakfast or brushing teeth.
The sample must be delivered to the same pharmacy before 10.30am, and they will be sent to a laboratory to be analysed by PCR using the ‘pooling technique’.
Results will be sent via mobile phone, and in the event of a positive result, a nasopharyngeal PCR test will be scheduled.
In addition to meeting the age requirement, those who take the test must have a health card, not be in palliative care or work or be a resident of a nursing home.
In addition, they cannot have symptoms of the virus.
People who have tested positive for coronavirus in the past three months or who have undergone a PCR in the past 15 days will also be excluded.
A total of 222 chemists have joined this programme – more than half of the total in the province.
While currently being offered in Pontevedra, the health department’s plan is for the programme to spread to the rest of Galicia in the coming days.
And varying the target population has not been ruled out, though a decision will be made based on epidemiological criteria.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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