NHSO gears up to hand out ATKs

NHSO gears up to hand out ATKs

The National Health Security Office (NHSO) will start distributing free antigen test kits (ATKs) for home use to at-risk groups from Sept 15.

NHSO secretary-general Dr Jadej Thammatacharee said the ATKs will be given via service units under the universal healthcare scheme to make sure that users are properly informed of how to use the test kits.

He said users will be given two ATK sets at a time, as the receivers must repeat the test five days after the first to confirm the results, especially when the first test is negative.

According to Dr Jadej, public health volunteers or community coordinators will help distribute the test kits to crowded communities and markets in maximum control zones and those in communities where an outbreak takes place.

Priority will be given to those aged 60 and over, bedridden patients, those with underlying conditions who are not vaccinated, people with Covid-19-like symptoms, families with Covid-19 patients and community coordinators.

He said the ATKs will also be handed out at service units including hospitals, pharmacies, medical clinics and nursing clinics in red zones.

At-risk groups can register to receive the ATKs via the government's Pao Tang e-wallet app and they can pick up the test kits at their nearest service unit or have them delivered, he said. The Pao Tang application is being updated to include the "Covid-19 test kit" option, he said.

The NHSO has procured 8.5 million kits for distribution via the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) which picked SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test kits manufactured by Beijing Lepu Medical Technology in China.

In case anyone has difficulties getting an ATK test kit or encounters problems using it, they should contact the NHSO via Line official account @nhso or call 1330, the NHSO hotline.

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