“Second mask crisis is terrifying” Self-diagnostic kit turmoil when the number of confirmed cases exceeds 10,000

10,000 omicron mutations and confirmed cases
Corona 19 self-diagnosis kit
Sold out at pharmacies and marts… “Anxiety in supply and demand”
“Fear of shortage like a mask crisis”

▲ Medical staff are organizing rapid antigen test kits waiting for results after testing at the screening test center of Anseong City Public Health Center, Gyeonggi-do, where the Omicron quarantine system started on the 26th.

In four regions, including Gwangju, Jeonnam, Pyeongtaek, and Anseong, where Omicron dominates, starting from the 26th, only high-risk groups such as close contacts and the elderly over 60 can receive the Corona 19 gene amplification (PCR) test. Those who wish to undergo other tests will undergo a PCR test if they test positive after undergoing a rapid antigen test at a screening clinic or a respiratory clinic. 2022.1.26 Reporter Oh Jang-hwan

Choi (25), who lives in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province, bought 10 self-diagnosis kits from a local pharmacy as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases exploded. As the government changed the quarantine guidelines to the Omicron response system, it seemed that it would be difficult to receive the PCR test immediately, so they preemptively purchased the kit. Choi said on the 26th, “I live with an elderly grandmother, and I bought enough so that the whole family could be tested for fear of relatives coming over the Lunar New Year holiday.

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surpassed 10,000 due to Omicron mutation, the sales of COVID-19 self-diagnosis kits that can perform a simple corona test are rapidly increasing. Some pharmacies, marts, and online stores are out of stock or show signs of a turmoil, with prices rising in just 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Wimo (64), who runs a pharmacy in Dangsan-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, said, “Before, I was thinking about going out a week or not, but this week, I sold 20 a day. It’s like stacking dogs and using them,” he said. Another pharmacist, Mo Kim (59), said, “The wholesaler suddenly said that the COVID-19 self-diagnosis kit was out of stock, so we only ordered two-thirds of the usual quantity. “A lot of these pharmacies will be out of stock,” he said.

In fact, a pharmacy in Jongno 5-ga, Seoul said, “The self-diagnosis kits that arrived today were all sold out around 2pm. At a hypermarket in Seongdong-gu, the self-diagnostic kit was sold out and consumers turned away.

The red light was also turned on in the pharmaceutical distribution industry due to the sudden kit crisis. An official from a pharmaceutical company distributing self-diagnostic kits said, “The demand for the self-diagnosis kits has suddenly exploded from this week, causing a disruption in supply and demand.

The price of self-diagnosis kits sold at major online shopping malls is also rising in real time. The self-diagnosis kit sold for 6,700 won at Coupang at 1 pm on the same day rose 14.9% to 7,700 won at 2:30, 1 hour and 30 minutes later.

Son Young-rae, head of the social strategy division of the Central Accident Resolving Headquarters, said, “We have secured sufficient quantities of self-diagnosis kits for rapid antigen testing and are providing them to screening clinics at each public health center.” We plan to finish all deliveries.”

Regarding the quantity of self-diagnosis kits sold at general pharmacies, he said, “The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety is managing production and distribution. There will be no major setbacks in the supply of kits,” he said.

By Kwak So-young and Lee Hyeon-jeong, staff reporters

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