Matovic Announces Plan to Carry Out Mass Testing on Weekly Basis

Prime Minister Igor Matovic announcing a plan to carry out weekly rounds of mass testing for COVID-19 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 11 (TASR) – Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) announced on Monday after a session of the Government that dealt with the current situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic that there’ll be further rounds of mass testing for COVID-19 in the country that will take place on a weekly basis, starting as of next weekend at latest.

According to the premier, the weekly testing will stay in place as long as the basic reproduction number of the virus exceeds 0.5. Representatives of individual parties and institutions that will carry out the upcoming rounds of mass testing will meet already on Monday evening. Matovic explained that their aim is to prepare the operation so that it goes as seamlessly as possible and to prevent the mistakes from the first rounds of mass testing that took place in the autumn. The first week of renewed mass testing will concern all districts in the country.

Matovic stated that at the current pace, the spreading of the virus won’t significantly change for the better until the population is vaccinated despite the current lockdown. He mentioned in this regard the new, more aggressive coronavirus variant that has started to spread from southeastern England and its impact on the reproduction number of the virus and its further spread.

Speaking on a related note, Matovic once again criticised how the Economy Ministry proceeded in procuring antigen tests in recent weeks. According to the premier, the fact that the ministry failed to purchase a sufficient number of tests could result in the deaths of 4,300 people and cause economic damage amounting to €1 billion. At the same time, Matovic claimed that he’ll remove the task of procuring antigen tests from the Economy Ministry.