Concern mounts over shortage of Covid-19 tests at pharmacies

Concern mounts over shortage of Covid-19 tests at pharmacies

Booking a Covid-19 test at a pharmacy is becoming an increasingly difficult task due to high demand caused by the Portuguese government’s latest measures to control rising Covid-19 numbers.

National media has reported that shortages are being felt at most pharmacies.

Demand has been high since the government’s new measures came into effect, making a negative Covid-19 test mandatory for anyone (even vaccinated people) looking to enter old people’s homes, health establishments, big cultural and sports events, and bars and discos.

In fact, a new record of 117,000 tests were carried out on Tuesday (November 30), beating the 98,000 done on April 21, 2021.

Since the start of the pandemic up to November 26, over 21 million tests have been carried out in Portugal – around 15 million PCR tests and 6.3 million antigen tests.

SIC television spoke to one youngster today who was scrambling to find a pharmacy in Lisbon where he could undergo a Covid-19 test in order to be able to attend the highly-anticipated Lisbon derby between SL Benfica and Sporting CP tomorrow night.

“I’ve already been to two pharmacies, and I haven’t been able to do a test yet. They are all completely booked,” said the young man, adding that he was planning to try as many pharmacies as possible.

Meanwhile, the national pharmacists’ general council (Ordem dos Farmacéuticos) has publicly expressed its concern about the shortage of tests.

“People know that testing at this stage is fundamental. We are concerned and are trying to ensure that there is not a region in Portugal without the capacity to respond to the demand for tests,” the council’s president Ana Paula Martins told SIC.