Bitto Ciganikova: We Should Abandon Country-wide Antigen Testing

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Parliamentary Health Committee chair Jana Bitto Ciganikova (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, April 13 (TASR) – It would be better for Slovakia to abandon country-wide antigen testing, said parliamentary health committee chair Jana Bitto Ciganikova (Freedom and Solidarity/SaS) on Tuesday, adding that such testing should be reduced to specific cases.

The coalition MP pointed to a disparity between the cost of antigen testing and the number of positive cases that it reveals. During the past weekend 909,187 antigen tests were carried out in Slovakia, of which only 2,644 were positive. “If it costs the state €10 to carry out each antigen test, we spent over €9 million in two days. Finding a single positive person thus costs us €3,438, and that’s not taking into account the proportion of test errors and false positives,” she stressed.

Bitto Ciganikova can see a solution in focusing on better care for the sick and positively tested. According to her, it only makes sense to carry out across-the-board testing in epicentres with much higher numbers, in combination with movement restrictions, or in factories where many people meet at work.

The MP also views such testing as meaningful in the case of people who have symptoms or are suspected of having coronavirus, or want to protect their loved ones. She added that the money saved could be used to save human lives.