Lochside Garage

Home-testing kits’ are expected here within weeks

The Covid-19 pandemic has locals future-proofing for what is yet to come. In light of this, home testing kits for the virus have been developed by pharmaceutical companies to provide swift testing and potential results within ten minutes, compared to the NHS process which could take hours. 
The Pillbox Pharmacy in Irvinestown are among those trying to put their best foot forward, with hopes to give local people across Fermanagh the chance to purchase a kit by the end of the month. 
Speaking to the Herald, local pharmacist, Neil McConnell said, “We’ve been promised the home testing kits, and they are due to be available through the pharmacy no later than the end of the month. There is real need for this, for people who are self-isolating and for those who are self-employed to get checked.                                   He continued, “People don’t want to be putting themselves into quarantine if there’s no need, and that’s why these kits are so essential so that people are able to test themselves and make an informed decision. 
“The kit is very much designed for a patient with diabetes, it will involve just a prick to the finger from the capillary which will draw up a small amount of blood from the finger. The sample of blood will take up to ten minutes for a result to appear, with two lines coming up if the sample tests positive for Covid-19. The kit will be between £40-£50 and in it there will be two tests. This is a perfect way to self-isolate at home.” 
When asked about his thoughts on growing public fear with regards to the Covid-19 outbreak, he said: “We’ve been seeing so much online of people going into a panic with the over-buying of hand sanitisers and what not, people are stocking up too much and they’re not really sharing. With the testing kits, we see it as a way to maybe take away the fear felt by some people, as not every cough or sneeze is the coronavirus. 
Mr McConnell further explained, “If it’s just a normal cold that you have, you don’t have to be taking such extreme measures. If you do self-quaratine yourself for two weeks to then find you don’t test positive, and then you go out onto the street and get it you’re just back to square one again, which isn’t financially sustainable. 
“I know personally I would like to test myself if I had any concerns. People who are self-employed cannot afford to be closing down and we do have a responsibility to make sure that we are not spreading the virus. 
“We all have parents, families, grandparents etc. People have to be responsible with hand-wishing and taking precautionary measures as best we can, but a lot of this is out of our hands. This is unknown territory.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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