Organisation of Mass Testing to Be Coordinated by District Offices

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illustration picture (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 12 (TASR) – Mass testing for coronavirus in Slovakia will take place in the penultimate weekend of January, with district offices being in charge of its coordination in individual districts, according to the conclusions of Monday’s (January 11) meeting of entities engaged in the preparations for mass testing announced by Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) at a news conference following the Cabinet session on Monday.

“Naturally, the details are still being fine-tuned. Municipalities will cooperate significantly in the organisation, but the main umbrella, capacity planning and the coordination of crisis management in the field of civil protection, should be in the hands of district offices, and in case of Bratislava and Kosice in the hands of the cities,” said mayor of Bratislava’s borough of Lamac Lukas Banacky, who represented the Towns and Villages Association (ZMOS) at the meeting.

Matovic on Monday announced that the Cabinet had agreed on organising mass testing on a weekly basis that will remain in place as long as the basic reproduction number of the virus exceeds 0.5. The prime minister said that mass testing should take place in less than two weeks, calling on local governments in the most affected localities to hold the testing as early as next week if they have the capacities for it. Undergoing the test should be a condition for applying for exemptions from the curfew, including for going to work or going to the countryside. “Otherwise it won’t work,” stated Matovic, stressing the need to repeat the autumn model from the Orava area in order to halt the spread of coronavirus. Given the presence of the more aggressive British mutation of coronavirus, it wouldn’t be enough if Slovakia remained only under the current lockdown conditions, he added.