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Public Criticism Halts Government Purchase on Rapid Self Test Kits



Public Criticism Halts Government Purchase on rapid self test Kits

Thailand’s Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) has ordered the suspension of a plan to purchase 8.5 million sets of covid-19 rapid test kits following fierce public criticism about their quality.

Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health and chair of GPO’s board, yesterday said the GPO had been assigned by Rajavithi Hospital to urgently purchase 8.5 million sets of covid-19 rapid test kits under the National Health Security Office.

Bidding was held on Tuesday and the winner offered each set for 70 baht, he said. However, some agencies have expressed concern about the quality of the covid-19 rapid test kits.

Dr Kiattiphum told reporters that in order to boost confidence the government will suspend the contract, and the GPO and the Food and Drug Administration will check the quality of the covid-19 antigen self-test kits.

“We want to ensure the process is done based on transparency, and the competition is done perfectly to receive a quality product at a reasonable price,” he said.

It is now unclear how the move will set back the state’s response to Covid, as the self-testing kits were designed as a way to free up resources in the health system.

Meanwhile, Contaminate waste management is becoming a growing health concern in Bangkok is accumulating around 100,000kg of contaminated waste per day.

The Covid-19 outbreak has led to a rise in demand for medical products resulting in an increase in used surgical masks, tissue paper and antigen test kits being discarded.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) said on Tuesday its waste management workers had dealt with 125,072kg of contaminated waste. Of that amount, 63,958kg was Covid-19-related waste while general waste made up the rest.

The amount of Covid-19-related waste has prompted Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to instruct authorities to strictly comply with infectious waste disposal measures.

He also stressed the need to educate residents on how to properly separate infectious waste from regular garbage.

The health department is suggested people put used face masks in a plastic bag and seal it firmly, before dumping it in an orange-coloured rubbish bins for disposal. The health department is also suggested labelling the bag as infectious waste.

For antigen test kits they suggest people place them in a red double plastic bag and sealing it firmly.

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