UPDATED: Drive-through COVID-19 testing site opens in Bratislava

The testing site did not open in the end as planned, after the government prevented them from testing people without symptoms.

Testing the samples at the Slovak Academy of Sciences.Testing the samples at the Slovak Academy of Sciences. (Source: TASR)

Drive-through COVID-19 testing will be launched in Slovakia as of Thursday, March 19. It will only be available in one place in Bratislava, though.

Corona-Drive, created by the Alpha medical company, is located in front of the hospital and polyclinic at the Trnavske Myto junction in central Bratislava, the SITA newswire reported.

Read the latest update about coronavirus news from Slovakia here (news digest from March 18).

Good practice from South Korea

Drive-through testing means patients are not required to get out of their cars; their samples are taken through the window and sent directly to the lab. This has proven effective in South Korea.

"This way poses the smallest risk of contamination of other patients," the Alpha medical company stated, as quoted by SITA. They claim the tests are "very exact".

The swabs are sent to the molecular biology labs of the Alpha medical company, where they are evaluated using the PCR method.

The results should be available 48 hours after the sample is taken.

Patients can make an appointment and also check their results online. The testing is free of charge for health care workers, the company stated.

How to get tested

Appointments can be made on the website lab.online. Patients are required to come to the testing on time and cannot eat or wash their teeth with toothpaste or mouthwash before the test.

The tests are meant for people who are interested in preventive testing. It costs €30 and an additional €5-fee applies for the drive-through method.

Patients who have symptoms of COVID-19 should not use the service. They are urged to report to authorities and get tested in the hospital instead.

Related articleDo I have the new coronavirus? How to proceed if you have a suspicion Read more 

"Our Corona-Drive testing is more of a service for those who do not have positive travel anamnesis or symptoms of the illness, but want to be sure that they are not transmitting the infection unwittingly," Alpha medical stated.

Alpha medical is a Slovak private laboratory company that has been active on the market for 22 years. It has been part of the transnational laboratory group Unilabs since 2017.

Caution advised over online tests

There have been reports that self-diagnostics tests could appear on some online shops in Slovakia soon.

The authorities, however, warn that the DIY tests might not be certified. The State Institute for Drug Control (ŠÚKL) advises that tests like this must state the information about the producer and/or the authorised representative if the producer is outside the EU. Other important attributes are the CE sign and the name of the product in the Slovak language, as well as instructions in Slovak.

"Results of screening tests like this must be confirmed by a test with the direct detection of the virus, which is why the result cannot be trusted 100 percent," the institute stated, as quoted by Sme.

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