Pharmacies started distributing self-test kits to vaccinated people on behalf of the health ministry on Tuesday as part of efforts for the timely detection of Covid-19 cases, though teething problems were reported early in the day with the software system.
Head of the pharmacists’ association Eleni Piera Isseyek told state broadcaster CyBC there was a slight delay due to a problem with the interconnectivity of the software system used by pharmacies with beneficiaries’ data so that they can see their vaccination history.
The kits, with five self-tests, are given free of charge to fully vaccinated people who can get their kit just by showing their ID.
Authorities said the glitch would be fixed shortly, while people have already started announcing on social media that they have received their kits.
The kits will be available for a month from Tuesday.
Pharmacies distribute the self-test kits to fully vaccinated Gesy beneficiaries. People who are fully vaccinated but non-Gesy beneficiaries, may get their kits from the old Nicosia hospital, the motherhood centres at the old Limassol and Larnaca hospitals and the Paphos general hospital and the Famagusta health centre in Paralimni on weekdays between 10.30am and 1pm.
The Cyprus Mail was informed however that staff at the old Limassol hospital told a person who went there to get his kit that they had yet to receive any instructions to start giving them out.
A spokesperson within the health ministry said they would address the issue.
Head of the health ministry’s testing programme Carolina Stylianou told CyBC that the self-tests are not here to replace other forms of testing but to assist in the situation and checks.
She urged people to self-test before visiting family and friends during the holiday season.
In case the self-test is positive, Gesy beneficiaries need to contact their GP to refer them for a PCR test at a public health centre in their district.
Non-Gesy beneficiaries need to notify the public health coordination centre at [email protected]. They need to include in the message their full name, phone number, ID number, date of birth, their district, and a photo of their positive self-test.