Warning over short lateral flow test supply

Warning over short supply of lateral flow tests

Warning over short lateral flow test supply

Pharmacists in England are warning of short supplies of rapid lateral flow tests following changes to self-isolation rules.

They said demand for lateral flow tests increased after the changes allowed people with Covid to leave isolation after seven days if they test negative.

The Association Of Independent Multiple Pharmacies said staff and customers were stressed over the lack of supply.

A record 117,093 cases were reported in England on Tuesday, but UK patient numbers thankfully remain below January’s peak.

So far, the surge in cases driven by Omicron has not led to a sharp rise in hospital admissions, even when taking into account the delay between infection and hospital treatment.

As there is only partial data available from all of the UK a full national picture will only be available in the first week of January.

The warnings about the supply of rapid lateral flow Covid tests follows several changes to self-isolation rules.

Those who test positive for Covid can now leave home after seven days as long as they test negative via lateral flow devices on days six and seven.

Close contacts of positive cases, including those in the same household, can go about their lives as normal with a daily negative lateral flow test.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said that the delivery capacity for lateral flow testing kits has doubled to 900,000 a day since 18 December.

Lateral flow tests are also available to order online for delivery through Royal Mail on the government website.

However, many people have reported problems placing orders, with the website often saying “sorry, there are no home delivery slots left for rapid lateral flow tests right now”.

Record demand for Covid PCR tests – used to confirm a positive lateral flow result – has left some people waiting up to five days for results in Scotland.

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.