Covid home test kits are selling at GS25
Some GS25 stores started selling Covid-19 test kits on Wednesday.
The kits are available at 2,000 GS25 stores that obtained government permission to sell medical equipment. Stores directly owned by the convenience store chain's parent company, GS Retail, started sales Wednesday. Sales by franchise branches will begin Friday.
Starting Friday, the kits will be available at GS Supermarket branches and Lalavla health & beauty stores.
Two test kits will be available, both produced by Korean companies. The SD Biosensor Covid-19 Ag Home Test is priced at 9,000 won and the Humasis Covid-19 Home Test costs 10,000 won.
Both were approved for sale by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety last month and were previously allowed to be used by medical professionals. Sales started at pharmacies and some ecommerce sites in late April. According to local reports, Korea's other convenience store chains, CU and 7-Eleven, are also expected to start selling Covid-19 test kits this week.
"We hope the sale of Covid-19 tests kits will fill in blank spots in the public healthcare system, like in mountainous areas or on islands where medial institutions are scarce," said GS Retail, the convenience store's operator, in a statement Wednesday .
Both devices take from 15 to 30 minutes to give results, GS said. The user only has to swab the inside of the mouth with a cotton swab provided and add three drops of testing fluid.
The company warned that people already feeling symptoms of the coronavirus should get a polymerase chain reaction test at a medical center.
The Covid-19 kits are the latest kind of medical testing device being offered at convenience stores.
GS25s have been selling pregnancy test kits since 2014, when drug laws were liberalized to allow them to be sold outside pharmacies. Since then, GS25 has expanded to selling tests that can detect viruses that may cause cervical cancer and a kit that tests for 10 pet diseases like diabetes and cystitis using urine samples.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [email@example.com]