Madrid has asked the EU to let the nation’s pharmacies carry out COVID-19 antigen tests on-site.
President of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, sent a letter this Tuesday to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, requesting support for her proposal.
Ayuso wrote the ‘Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products does not allow’ for the rapid coronavirus tests to be sold at pharmacies.
“It would be useful that the European authorities could validate this new form of testing, not only in Spain, but in the rest of the European regions,” Ayuso wrote.
Antigen tests are recent introductions that test for viral material – like PCR tests – but gives results in 15 minutes, rather than 4-6 hours.
Ayuso said Portugal, the United Kingdom and France allow pharamacies to perform antigen tests.
“We have multiplied our testing capacity by ten and our goal is to continue like this”, said Ayuso. “Mass diagnosis is the key to defeating the virus and bureaucracy cannot be an obstacle,” she added.
The Madrid regional government has purchased millions of antigen tests and, so far, they have been carried out mainly in health centres and clinics.