Quick COVID-19 tests in Italian pharmacies

People wait in line at a safe distance to each other in front of a pharmacy due to the Coronavirus emergency, in Padua, Italy, 12 March 2020. [EPA-EFE/NICOLA FOSSELLA]

In addition to regular testing options, fast-result COVID-19 tests will be conducted in pharmacies, Health Minister Roberto Speranza confirmed on Thursday as the number of infections hit a new daily record in Italy with 16,079 new infections registered and 136 deaths in the last 24 hours.

“Serological tests are already conducted in pharmacies in some regions”, said Italy’s health minister, adding that “we will look into extending that possibility to quick COVID-19 tests too”.

Family doctors could be next in conducting COVID-19 tests, as the government intends to discuss the matter next week.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Lucia Azzoilina wrote a letter to Lombardy Governor Attilio Fontana, urging him to reconsider his decision to suspend in-person activities from high schools, despite reassurances from the government. “In this delicate phase, I’d like to invite you to cooperate with all the involved institutions to try and find a different solution from the one adopted, in the best interest of our students,” the letter says.

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala also criticised the governor’s decision. “We disagree completely with this decision. At this moment, the best solution is to alternate in-person and distance learning. We will discuss this again with Governor Fontana”, said Sala.

(Alessandro Follis | EURACTIV.it)

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