PM: Repeated Mass Testing for Coronavirus Certain, I’ll Debate It with Experts

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Prime Minister Igor Matovic speaking to journalists during the coutrywide testing for coronavirus. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 1 (TASR) – A repeated mass testing of almost the entire Slovak population for coronavirus will certainly take place, perhaps except for a few relatively unaffected districts, said Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO), while he admitted that he’s still due to discuss it with experts.

“It’s evident how effective it was to use antigen tests [a week ago] in Orava [a traditional region in northern Slovakia] and Bardejov [a district in eastern Slovakia]. If the number of infected people is reduced by a half [in these areas], it’s adequate to have the same hope for the entire Slovakia,” said Matovic, conceding that perhaps two or three districts out of 79 could be dropped from the repeated testing. “We’ll need an honest discussion with epidemiologists and infectious disease experts, which will begin as early as on Sunday,” said Matovic.

The prime minister stressed that the mask mandate for all public areas and other measures, including a ban on mass gatherings, will remain in place even after the mass testing is completed. According to him, if the countrywide testing had been carried out with the use of PCR tests instead of antigen tests, the number of positives wouldn’t be 1 percent, but 3 percent.

Slovakia on Saturday didn’t report any new deaths of COVID-19. There were 113 people on intensive care and 94 connected to lung ventilators throughout the country.