Home test kits are in short supply due to number of COVID-19 cases soaring. One pharmacist says sales have tripled to up to 500 kits a day in the past week.
Customer: “Do you have any rapid test kits?”
Convenience Store Clerk: “Sorry, we're sold out.”
Home test kits are in short supply islandwide due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
Ms. Lai, Citizen: “If I get the sniffles -- especially since kids get sick really easily -- we would test ourselves at home before going to see a doctor.”
One pharmacist says home test kit sales have gone up by three times since the Qingming Festival. This pharmacy is selling 300-500 kits a day for NT$300-360 each.
Shen Tsai-ying, Pharmacist: “(Sales) have tripled or quadrupled since the Tomb Sweeping Festival. We sold three times as many as usual the day before yesterday and yesterday.”
The number of new domestic cases has been in the hundreds for seven consecutive days now. Most patients are experiencing mild or no symptoms. The Central Epidemic Command Center is drafting home quarantine guidelines for people with mild symptoms to keep medical resources available for more severe cases, but doctors say extra precautions must be taken to prevent infected people from infecting everyone they live with.
Chiang Kuan-yu, Internal Medicine Doctor, Taipei City Hospital Zhongxing Branch: “People that are infected need to disinfect the bathroom with bleach and water after use. This includes faucets and the toilet. They need to clean everything before the next person uses the bathroom.”
Doctors say the government needs to publish a home care handbook, including rapid testing at home when respiratory symptoms present. Unlike in Taiwan, home test kits are free to the public in the U.S. and Hong Kong.