New sampling sites will be raised in front of hospitals in Slovakia

They will not be in front of every facility though.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

The number of sites where medical teams take samples to be tested for the coronavirus should increase to 29 in the following days.

The Health Ministry showed a map of places where the tents or containers will be raised. Six have already been erected by the state, while the remaining 23 will be built by the private hospitals and labs. Five were raised before April 3, the Sme daily reported.

Not in front of all Slovak hospitals

PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) originally said that the sampling site would stand in front of every hospital in Slovakia, meaning there should be as many as 78. Health Minister Marej Krajčí (OĽaNO) added that two to three sites will be added a day.

The construction of sampling sites run by the private health providers has been hindered by the wait for necessary permissions, staff training and the fact that the Health Ministry published instructions on these sites only on April 1, Sme wrote.

Until there are enough sampling sites, the plan to carry out some 3,000 tests for the coronavirus disease a day cannot come to fruition, the daily continued. The latest statistics suggest that some 1,500 samples were tested on April 4, while more than 15,000 samples have been tested so far.

The Health Ministry failed to specify whether the sites will be established in front of each hospital and when this will happen.

“The number of sampling sites will increase; the preparation of large capacity places is also underway,” ministry spokesperson Zuzana Eliášová told Sme, without specifying further details.

State labs first

Since Slovakia has only a few sampling sites and some are under construction, the number of samples is lower than the capacity of labs. The situation is also complicated by the fact that private labs are used only after the state ones are filled to capacity, Sme wrote.

This means that the private labs start testing only after the state ones fulfil their daily limit of 1,000 tests.

Since the private labs do not receive enough samples sent by the doctors, they are testing private payers. These people do not have to have coronavirus symptoms as long as they are willing to pay for the tests.

Much of this testing is carried out by Alpha Medical at the moment, Sme reported.

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