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Covid home tests to be available soon in Finland

Two applications for the import and sales of home tests were registered today by Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea. One of the applicants is retail chain Lidl.

Tanja Huutosen pojan saamia pikatestejä.
At-home testing for Covid will soon be available in Finland Image: Tanja Huutonen

The first home tests for early detection of the coronavirus will be available in Finland in the near future. Home tests have been widely used in recent months in Germany, among other countries.

According to Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea, applications from Lidl Suomi Ky and Mediq Suomi Oy for the Rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test by the Chinese company Xiamen Boson Biotech, to enter the Finnish market, have been processed Thursday.

Results in 15–20 minutes

The instructions for the product state that the sample for the test is taken from the front of the person's nose within the first seven days of the onset of symptoms. The sample is taken with a cotton swab.

The result appears within 15 to 20 minutes after sampling.

The guideline emphasises that this rapid test should not be used as the sole basis for diagnosing a coronavirus infection, and a different test may be needed to confirm diagnosis.

Lidl aims to have the product on shelves in May, according to commercial director Mikko Forsström. The price of the product will be announced by the store closer to launch.

Attempts to get professional tests on the consumer market

This test will be the first home test to be sold in Finland for the early detection of a coronavirus infection.

Previously, only one test suitable for at-home use has been registered at Fimea. This was an antibody test, which is mainly intended for the subsequent detection of the disease and the antibodies produced by the immune system.

A total of a dozen applications have been submitted for at-home test products and about a hundred have contacted Fimea regarding the matter, says Fimea's senior inspector Nelli Karhu.

Other tests have proven to be professional tests that have been incorrectly classified as home tests. According to Karhu, Fimea has also become aware of counterfeit home tests.

"The products in question have mainly been suitable for healthcare professionals. In some cases, they have been used at home as an exception - in Germany, for example - but in Finland there has been no reason to increase at-home testing by issuing special permits," said Karhu.

Fimea believes that more announcements regarding similar consumer products will be coming soon.

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