The Andalusian Health Board will approve the sale of self-diagnosis Covid tests using a Royal Decree at the Cabinet meeting next week.
This is a complete U-turn in the strategy of the Central Government
Minister of Public Health, Carolina Darias, had been completely against liberalising the distribution of this kind of test, reasoning that it gave a false sense of security, as well as considering them not very reliable, especially if not used under supervision.
However, yesterday, the minister announced this decision during a parliamentary session because the State Advisory Board, after being consulted by the Government, had responded with a favourable report, stating that it could see no problem with these products becoming freely available, as this is already the case in several other European countries without problems arising.
The minister now considers it essential so that people infected by the virus but who have an asymptomatic response to it can be detected, thus giving a true figure of general contagion. The majority of recent Covid victims are aged between 12 and 29, who pass on the infection having shown few if any tell-tale symptoms themselves.
Furthermore, the availability of these tests can now be advertised on TV etc, which means that publicity spots will begin to appear just days after the Royal Decree is officially announced.
Many autonomous governments in the country, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, have been pressurising the Central Government to take this step. The health authorities belonging to these regional governments have thousands in store, but until now have only been able to distribute them to hospitals and clinics. Germany, on the other hand, has made them available even in supermarkets.
Editorial comment: the question is, if somebody uses one and it gives a positive reading, what obliges them to make it known to the health authorities? Will there not be hundreds of cases where people choose to hid the result rather than disrupt their work or social life?