Bratislava, October 22 (TASR) – The Central Crisis Team definitively confirmed that trial mass testing of the Slovak population for COVID-19 will start in the districts of Dolny Kubin, Tvrdosin, Namestovo and Bardejov as of Friday (October 23) from 8.00 a.m., with the rest of Slovakia to be tested over the next two weekends, Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) announced on Thursday.
According to Matovic, this is the only way to avoid a total lockdown. “Trust me, there’s no other way to stave off the inevitable economic damage,” he warned and voiced hope that the nation will rally around the fight against the virus. “Our unity is the only chance how to win the fight against the invisible enemy,” he said and commended all municipalities, governors and mayors, regardless of their political affiliations, who attempt to co-operate to the maximum possible degree.
Investment minister Veronika Remisova (For the People) expounded that the mass testing is another tool for the country to put a stop to the outbreak and get the figures back to normal.
Economy Minister Richard Sulik (SaS) declared that introducing a lockdown for one week is the least bad of all the bad and painful solutions that are on the table. “What’s important to note is the fact that the economy is to be stifled only temporarily and that’s a very worthy deal when looking at the pandemic figures,” he added.
Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad (OLaNO) said that details are still being tweaked, as the military gears up for the launch of trial mass testing on Friday (October 23). “We’ll be ready on Friday, but it would be foolish to say everything will be one hundred percent. Please, let’s be tolerant, let’s be accommodating,” he said.
According to Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OLaNO), no one wants to inspire fear with the announced and resolute police sanctions for potential lockdown violators. The minister asked people not to attempt to circumvent the restrictions or seek ways to find loopholes in them. “Please, keep in mind that police officers and soldiers also have their families and that they’re dispatched to the front lines of the battle that we’d like to win,” he said.
A similar call was extended to the public also by Health Minister Marek Krajci (OLaNO), who pointed out the importance that successful measures hold for health care. “By staying at home and minimalising contacts, we would reduce the odds of infection,” he said.
Krajci plans to lend active help during the trial testing. “On Friday (October 23), I’ll inquire whether there’s any health personnel shortage and, if necessary, I’ll go where needed,” he claimed.