Bratislava, October 20 (TASR) – Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) stated at a press conference following a session of the Security Council on Tuesday that the coalition parties have expressed their unambiguous support for carrying out voluntary mass testing for coronavirus in the country, adding that people who don’t participate will have to isolate themselves in quarantine for ten days.
Matovic at the same time noted that the session was attended by President Zuzana Caputova, claiming that she was well informed about the system that the Government wants to use for mass testing. “I think that we answered all the president’s questions adequately and in detail,” said the premier, adding that he and the other ministers had “a very good feeling” regarding the session.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad (OLaNO) assured the public that only a few questions regarding the mass testing remain unanswered. According to him, his ministry has been responsibly communicating the testing procedures with the regions, other ministries and regional public health offices. He rejected claims that the Defence Ministry has been passing the buck of responsibility to the regions.
When asked about concerns that the testing will fail if not enough people volunteer to help with its organisation, Matovic stated that there will be a team of eight professionals at every site designed for taking samples, adding that “if volunteers join them, that will be great, but it doesn’t depend on them”.
At the same time, Health Minister Marek Krajci (OLaNO) claimed that 2,600 people have already responded to his call to health professionals and medical students that have already undergone certain periods of study to register to assist with the testing. “I believe that their ranks will grow,” he added.
The Government tasked the military on Sunday with preparing and carrying out the mass testing on Sunday (October 18). Up to 8,000 members of the Slovak Armed Forces should be assigned to ‘Operation Shared Responsibility’. Nad added that all available soldiers, police officers and firefighters will take part.