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HomeNation NewsCount OTC self-kit Covid test customers: FDA to Pune chemists : Shivpurinews.in

Count OTC self-kit Covid test customers: FDA to Pune chemists : Shivpurinews.in

Pune: A day after the state public health department directed civic bodies about using self-testing kits by people, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued notification asking chemists and pharmacists in Pune to keep a record of customers who buy these kits.

FDA joint commissioner (Pune division), SB Patil, issued a notification on Thursday asking retail as well as wholesale chemists and pharmacists in Pune to keep a record of customers who buy the home test kits.

“It is important to keep all details such as name, phone number, address of the customer who buys a kit and also the particulars of the kit. All such records will be checked by the drug inspectors,” the FDA notification said

Earlier on Wednesday, the Maharashtra health department expressed concern about the large number of non-reporting of coronavirus positive cases diagnosed using self-testing kits by people and wrote to the district and civic officials to monitor the sale of such kits and ensure that patients report about their infection to the authorities

Dr Pradeep Vyas, additional chief secretary of the state public health department, gave these directions to all the municipal and divisional commissioners, district collectors and chief executive officers of zilla parishads (ZPs) in a letter written on Wednesday.

In the letter, Vyas also asked FDA to sensitise chemists and pharmacists so that they can educate customers buying the Covid-19 self-testing kits to report about their infection to the authorities.

“It is expected that all Covid positive tests conducted through rapid antigen test kits or home test kits are reported to the authorities. But it seems that there is a large number of coronavirus positive cases diagnosed through these kits that have not been reported to the authorities and such persons appear to be in home isolation,” he said in the letter.

People should report positive test results found using the home kits to the district or civic authorities so that their health can be monitored, he added. The letter said that as per the genome sequencing results, about 70 per cent of the cases are of Delta strain.

“Rapid antigen tests generally do not distinguish between the Delta and Omicron variants. So, it may so happen that many of these home isolated Covid patients may need hospital care (particularly those with Delta strain and comorbidities) and suddenly there may be a stress on our health infrastructure,” Dr Vyas said in the letter.

He asked officials to take help of FDA and monitor the sale of such self-testing kits to know the geographical areas where these kits are being used on a large scale. “Chemists can also be educated so that they can inform the people purchasing such kits to report about the positive test results to authorities,” the letter added.

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