Following the government’s announcement that antigen tests “can now be imported for personal use,” Phoenix stores confirmed that they “are in the process of sourcing antigen tests from reputable suppliers ”.

Government: “Antigen tests can now be imported for personal use”

The government said last night that “antigen tests can now be imported for personal use” because “the policy was reviewed and adjusted by the health ministry this week.”

“We hope that the public will be able to use antigen kits for personal use to empower themselves [whether vaccinated or not] to protect the vulnerable among them, for example, before visiting an elderly relative or before attending a social gathering with loved ones, ”the government said.

“Antigen testing is a rapid screening tool, and a positive antigen result should be immediately followed by a confirmatory PCR test. Antigen testing cannot be used to guess public health instructions to quarantine or isolate. Public health testing is based on the results of PCR tests or on a risk assessment by officials from the Ministry of Health. “

The government also added: “It is important to note that there are many bogus antigen tests on the market, so the Department of Health will maintain, together with HM Customs, a monitoring role to verify and protect importers from counterfeit products.

Phoenix “Researching antigen tests”

As attempting to auto-import the correct antigen tests that will be licensed could be a bit onerous, Bernews contacted Phoenix Stores, which operate more than a half-dozen drugstores, to see if they plan to put the ones on. tests on sale.

A spokesperson told Bernews: “We are in the process of sourcing antigen testing from reputable suppliers to ensure that quality products are available as there are many below average tests of this type. on the market. We will work closely with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council to ensure that antigen tests are sold through a pharmacist and only products you trust are accessible. “

More details will be available in the coming days

As this is still an early stage – the government’s announcement was made less than 24 hours ago – other details such as expected date of arrival and prices are not yet available, but when they have additional information, Phoenix will let us know; we’re just posting this now so people know that the tests will be available in local stores in the future via the Phoenix and most likely other local pharmacies as well.

For people looking to get their own tests abroad. we have asked the Department of Health if it is possible to provide a list of approved tests, and if we receive a response, we will provide that information.

CDC Information

The CDC website states, “Antigen tests are commonly used in the diagnosis of respiratory pathogens, including influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus. The United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA] granted emergency use authorization [EUA] for antigen testing that can identify SARS-CoV-2. See the FDA list of in vitro diagnostic EUAs.

“Antigen tests are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies a current viral infection. Antigen testing is currently permitted to be performed on nasopharyngeal or nasal swab specimens placed directly into the test extraction buffer or reagent. Currently licensed antigen testing includes point-of-care, laboratory, and self-testing, and is applicable to people of all ages.

“Antigen testing is relatively inexpensive and most can be used at the point of care. Most currently licensed tests return results in about 15 to 30 minutes. Antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 are generally less sensitive than the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR] and other nucleic acid amplification tests [NAATs] to detect the presence of viral nucleic acid.

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You can find more information at the links below from our dedicated website BermudaCovid.com, which is the most comprehensive resource and historical record available on Bermuda’s management of the pandemic.

  • All graphics: Vaccine, tests and more here
  • Deadlines: Dates of the main developments here
  • Test results: table of test statistics here
  • Vaccine: here the data concerning the vaccinations
  • Dedicated website: BermudaCovid.com
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