ATK test kits out of stock, groups call for an end to student testing

Antigen Test Kits (ATKs) are running out of stock, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) said on Wednesday, leading to concerns over the high price of second hand markets and hoarding issues.

The GPO announced earlier that 3.5 million ATKs will be sold to members of the public at a price of 35 baht per kit starting from January 14. It has since sold out.

The shortage of ATK test kits at times when case numbers are rising due to Omicron has caused concern among members of the public over price increases and hoarding issues.

Profiteering is also a major concern.

“I just realized how expensive the ATKs are when I need them. The one that can detect the new variant costs the minimum wage for one day,” one netizen pointed out on his Twitter account.

“I’m not certain whether they have always been expensive or the prices are only high during this period.”

Student testing

On Tuesday, a group of parents marched to the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) to call for an end to weekly testing for students, especially when parents have to front the costs for the ATK test kits.

Natthamon, a teacher who did not give her last name due to privacy reasons told reporters that it’s unnecessary that students must take the test weekly.

“The ATKs weekly testing has obstructed education,” Natthamon said.

Dr. Suwadee Puntpanich, a director at Thonburi Bamrungmuang Hospital, voiced her opinion on her social media account that taking the weekly ATKs test punishing for families.

“Telling students to take the test weekly is creating a burden for parents, especially when everything is expensive.”

She insisted that the government must distribute free ATK test kits.

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