Slovakia tested two thirds of its 5.5 million inhabitants for the coronavirus in only two days. Head of government Igor Matovic considered it a success today that more people than expected came to the rapid tests. More than 38,000 people who tested positive and now had to go into quarantine could otherwise have spread the infection undetected, he said.
According to the results presented by the government in Bratislava, more than 3.6 million people took part in the unprecedented action over the weekend. All residents over ten years of age who did not have a valid test from another institution were called upon to participate. Formally, participation was voluntary. However, as of today, anyone who cannot show a negative test is subject to a strict curfew and is not allowed to go to work.
“Largest logistical operation”
There is growing resistance among experts and local authorities to a second round of testing planned for next weekend. Even before the start of the test campaign, the medical association had criticized the campaign led by the Ministry of Defense as a waste of already scarce resources. Municipalities complained that without sufficient information and preparation time they were pushed into “the biggest logistical action in the history of Slovakia”. Some mayors threatened to boycott a repeat of the mass tests next weekend.
Matovic had presented and pushed through the idea only two weeks ago after returning from an EU summit in Brussels. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel liked the idea, and other EU countries might also want to copy it, the populist-conservative Prime Minister repeatedly said.
HP, Source: ORF.at/agencies. Picture: pixabay.com
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