‘Frustrating not being able to meet people’s needs’: Bega pharmacist awaits backorders for rapid COVID test | Bega District News

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Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are scarce throughout the Bega Valley, with limited stocks selling out as soon as they hit supermarket shelves, and pharmacies like Plevey’s in Bega say they have back orders since before Christmas. “The problem is that we are asked for rapid antigen tests every few minutes and we cannot provide them,” said pharmacist and Plevey store owner John Plevey. Mr Plevey said three out of four phone calls to the pharmacy were about the self-test kits, and the lack of supplies had made the situation “frustrating”. READ ALSO: Eden-Monaro MP Kristy McBain COVID positive, calls for free rapid antigen testing “Supply is the problem here, we are expecting a number of different brands but we continue to be put on hold and we can’t do any more than that, ”Plevey said. “It’s just frustrating that you can’t meet people’s needs.” Places where stocks have arrived sporadically include local supermarkets Coles and Woolworths, but tests run out almost as soon as they arrive in stores. READ ALSO: Bega COVID testers grateful for courteous behavior of people waiting in queue behind the wheel On Thursday, January 6, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that 200 million rapid antigen tests would arrive in Australia in during the next month and that concession card holders would have access to free RAT kits through their pharmacists. While not responding to calls to make the test kits free for everyone, the move will provide them to health care, retirement, and DVA cardholders. They will be allowed access to a maximum of 10 tests over a three month period. READ ALSO: Bega by-election candidates intervene in debate over rapid antigen test COVID test or showing mild symptoms.

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