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Poland to conduct mass testing in three regions

Poland to conduct mass testing in three regions

It is yet to be announced if tests will be mandatory

Poland is preparing for a mass testing in three of its regions - this was made clear on Saturday, 21 November, by Health minister Adam Niedzielski speaking for RFM FM. The selected provinces, also known as voivodeships, are Slask (Silesia), Małopolska (Lesser Poland) and Podkarpacie and together they have a population exceeding 10 million inhabitants.

The logistics is already under preparation, the authorities explained later, but it is still unknown if antigen testing will be compulsory or voluntary. The decision should be made this week and it will determine the starting date of the screenings, as reported by Interia.

Following good health practices

The voluntary model could be started earlier, as general practitioners from these most affected regions will be given access to tests and everyone willing to get tested will be able to do so. The more complex compulsory model will have to mobilize the existing network of drive-through centres and direct citizens to the specific points that they have been assigned to. Accordingly, this will take about a week to organise.

Mass testing is essential for the timely discovery of the positive cases, their isolation and the tracing of contacts. It is considered a more convenient and certainly better for the economy approach than a lockdown. The low number of tests conducted in Poland might have contributed to the deterioration of the pandemic situation.

Poland is currently one of the counties in the European Union with the fewest number of people tested. However, about half of the test results come up positive, which points to a high incidence. We remind our readers that the Polish government announced its 100-days plan against COVID-19, which features a comprehensive plan on how the country intends to deal with the disease over the next few months.

Earlier this month, Slovakia launched the first-ever nationwide testing campaign in Europe. Deemed a great success, the national authorities will be conducting a second round in December. Recognising the effect of this endeavour, neighbouring Austria decided to follow suit in mid-December.

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