For a short while, Aldi sold rapid tests to detect the Covid-19 virus, but they were sold out practically everywhere in no time. Several other retailers will soon be offering the tests as well.
The discounter's stunt led to big crowds and long queues at many Aldi branches in North-Rhine-Westphalia on Saturday, German broadcaster WDR reports. Shortly after the stores opened, the small number of tests available were already sold out in most branches.
The retailer had limited sales to one packet of five tests per customer, costing 24.99 euros for the set or just under 5 euros per test. Competitor Lidl had previously offered identical test packages through its website for 21.99 euros, but there, as well, supplies were quickly exhausted.
Aldi has already announced that a new batch of tests will soon be available at its stores, and in the coming weeks, other retailers also want to jump on the bandwagon. The drugstore chains DM and Rossmann would like to start selling rapid tests this week. Pharmacies and retailers like Kaufland, Edeka, Netto or Rewe may follow later.
The result is available within 15 minutes of taking the test. However, in order to be reliable, the customer must read the result within the specified time frame. The rapid test can be performed by anyone as no specific knowledge is required.
In Belgium, the rapid tests are not freely available, although the General Pharmaceutical Association (APB) advocates making them available in pharmacies under controlled conditions. The Belgian professional association of medical specialists in Medical Biopathology is not in favour of this. But last Friday, the Belgian consultative committee decided to clear the way for these rapid tests, RTBF writes.