Pharmacies, clinics and hospitals started this week to suspend tests for the detection of covid-19 due to lack of supplies. The high transmissibility of the omicron variant caused an exponential increase in the number of cases of the disease, notably after the end of the year, and imposed a strong pressure on the productive capacity of tests in the world, both PCR and antigen tests.
The Brazilian Association of Diagnostic Medicine (Abramed) released an alert, on Wednesday (12), stating that, “if stocks are not replenished quickly, there may be a lack of supply of exams”. In a statement, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the entity, Wilson Shcolnik, explains that, evaluating the news coming from other countries, the conclusion is that “there is a real risk of shortages”.
After the Abramed alert was released, several health companies in Brazil, such as Drogaria Raia/Drogasil and Rede D’Or, decided to suspend testing. For the president of the Union of Clinical Research and Analysis Laboratories (Sindilab), Alexandre Bitencourt, the problem is more serious because there is still no national industry capable of providing materials for carrying out the tests, but only importers of the input.
What do the experts say?
Source: Abramed/Reproduction.Source: abramed
In a technical note, also released on Wednesday (12), Abramed says that, although it recognizes the importance of testing the entire population for epidemiological control and patient management, it advises its associates to prioritize patients to testing, following a severity scale.
While the ideal scenario is to continue testing all people who have been exposed to the virus in some way, Shcolnik reiterates, “we strongly recommend that only patients who have the most severe symptoms, hospitalized and surgical patients, people in the risk group undergo testing , healthcare workers, and essential service workers”.
Therefore, the orientation of the entity that aggregates important institutions of diagnostic, laboratory and imaging medicine is that the testing of “contactants, asymptomatic and people with mild symptoms” be interrupted. However, Abramed recommends that these people remain in isolation until supplies are normalized.