Well, with all the hype around mass testing, I decided to go out and give it a try.
The first thing I found out is that that not all tests are free, or that the sentence I read at the end of an article stating that the free testing was for Madeiran’s, was totally correct. So when I popped into a participating pharmacy, asked to make an appointment for a test, I was promptly given a test kit to take home and charged €5.45.
So once I got over the shock, the test itself.
If you get one like mine, it will contain two lots of instructions and diagrams. A long swab, a phial of testing fluid, a pipette, the rapid antigen test plate as well as a small bag of silica gel (it did take me a minute or two to work out what this was for. It actually validates the test kit. Yellow and white crystals means its OK, green and white means that it is probably out of date).
The process is simple, you need to swab each nostril four times, ensuring that you find every nook and cranny.
Then peel back the wrapper on the testing fluid, dunk the swab into the fluid and circle ten times each way.
Then insert the pipette to the fluid container and squeeze four drops of fluid into the small circle on the testing plate – a word of warning, don’t squeeze too hard as it can go everywhere!
Once that’s done, sit back and relax, or alternatively watch the fluid creep up the test area.
Once 15 -30 minutes are up you can check the results against the formula’s printed on the information sheet, and hopefully like mine, it’s negative.
Despite what the instructions say, you only need to contact the SNS24 808 24 24 24 hotline if your test is positive, I spoke to a very nice technician who confirmed this for me. If your test is inconclusive it is recommended that you do it again.
All I can say is its fast, simple and no matter what anyone tells you, poking around your nose with a swab is still an unpleasant experience.
info at madeira-weekly.com