Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) granted drugstores permission to administer rapid tests for Covid-19 — as long as they have a professional able to analyze the results. The decision is expected to be published on Brazil’s Federal Register and shall be valid for as long as the national state of calamity lasts, reports news website G1.
The decision has the potential to lower the influx of people at Brazilian hospitals, but it will be left up to each drugstore to decide whether they intend to offer the service. Moreover, results obtained by way of quick testing at pharmacies are not expected to join the official count of Covid-19 cases, as lab tests are more accurate. In São Paulo, the hardest-hit state by the outbreak, the government claimed that the testing backlog — which was in the tens of thousands — had been cleared. The state capital’s City Hall, however, said it is still awaiting 8,500 results, which could be explained by a delay in the Health Ministry’s system.