Getting tested to see if you have the Omicron variant of Covid-19 or not is fast becoming an important part of daily life. At a time when infection rates are soaring – there were over 218,000 people reported newly infected in the UK yesterday Jan 4 – the means to see if you’re infected or at risk is increasingly important.
A big issue, though, is being able to do this yourself with a home testing kit, usually referred to here as a “lateral flow test kit” (more formally, these kits are called SARS-Cov-2 Antigen Rapid Self-Test Kits) designed for use by anyone at home. These are available free of charge for home delivery via the government website – if there are stocks available.
That’s been a problem for the past few weeks as supplies have been very thin indeed at a time when demand has soared.
Now, though, the supply-meeting-demand picture is looking better. I ordered a test kit containing seven tests on Christmas Day and the package arrived only yesterday. I’d put in another order on New Year’s Day so that one might show up soon.
If you urgently need test kits, you’ll have to consider other avenues such as obtaining them directly from pharmacies, and including buying them from suppliers. As in any market economy, there appear to be plenty of supplies if you’re willing and able to pay.
Given that there’s a high expectation that we will have to live with Covid for a long time, we need to see far more effective and equitable means of supply and distribution to enable access for everyone.