Slovakia gets ready for nationwide COVID-19 testing campaign

Slovakia gets ready for nationwide COVID-19 testing campaign

The initiative's pilot phase will take place over the weekend of 23-25 October

In an effort to deal with the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, Slovakia is getting ready to launch a massive nationwide testing campaign over the weekend. The project unveiled earlier last week was announced by Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic, who further explained that testing will take place in two separate phases.

Going all in

In order to carry out this ambitious policy, the Slovak government has purchased a total of 13 million antigen tests. These tests return results in a matter of minutes but are not as accurate as traditional PCR tests. Furthermore, authorities have set up some 5,997 sampling sites across the country’s territory which will take care of 7 people each.

The first tests – and effectively, the project’s trial phase – will be carried out in the areas of the country that have been the most exposed to the novel coronavirus. Thus, over the weekend of 23-25 October, mass free testing will take place in the regions of Tvrdošín, Námestovo, Dolný Kubín and Bardejov

The population of these districts equates to roughly 180,000 people, who will be allowed into a total of 235 sampling spots. Some 2,500 soldiers, police officers, medical workers, firefighters and other kinds of essential personnel will take part in the initiative. Following this trial run, nationwide testing will continue over the next two weekends – 30 October- 1 November and 6-8 November.

Testing will be entirely voluntary, but authorities have stated that those who do not wish to take part will have to be placed in mandatory quarantine for 10 days. That means that they will not be allowed to leave their homes for the period and police will be able to ask them for negative test results. Failure to comply will result in a fine of over 1,600 euros.



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