Foreigners and diplomats expected to come to testing

Defence minister revealed the plan for the upcoming nationwide testing. President Čaputová calls for ensuring that health care is still provided.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: TASR)

Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) revealed more details about the upcoming nationwide testing, held across Slovakia this Saturday (October 31) and Sunday (November 1).

Sampling places will be open from 7:00 to 22:00 on both days. The last swab will be taken at 21:30.

The situation will be monitored and if there are long queues, they will send more teams to the spot. Naď hopes that everyone will have a chance to participate.

Every household should receive a leaflet with information about testing in the upcoming days. As they were pre-printed, they contain incorrect information about the dates of the testing, Naď stressed. Originally, the testing was planned for Friday as well.

Municipalities should choose system

There will be 4,901 sampling teams, and more than 5,000 sampling sites across the country. In smaller villages, they will not test during the whole weekend, but the sampling team will move around, Naď said.

We’re satisfied with pilot testing, politicians say Read more 

The Defence Ministry recommends that people arrive for the testing in alphabetical order (based on the first letter of their surname). However, the municipalities will have final say in calling their inhabitants to sampling sites, and can decide on using their own system. They should inform people about the system before the testing.

The Slovak Spectator will publish FAQs about the testing tomorrow (October 28).

Exceptions

The testing is open to everybody above the age of 10. However, if parents decide on testing younger children, teams will take the swabs. The Defence Ministry also recommends that people older than 65 years not participate, and stay in home isolation instead. However, if old people do not want to or cannot stay in isolation, they need to participate.

Not enough healthcare workers for nationwide testing Read more 

There are several exceptions based on health conditions. People who tested positive for the COVID-19 in the last 90 days do not have to participate in the testing. Also, people suffering from health problems that prevent them from being properly tested do not have to take part (i.e. if they have a broken nose). The exception also applies to people suffering from autism disorder and oncology patients. They need a confirmation from the doctor.

Foreigners living in Slovakia and members of foreign diplomatic missions should attend the testing.

The negative result of the test should be carried around the whole week after testing. An alternative to the antigen testing is a result from PCR tests. However, blood tests will not be accepted.

People who test positive will need to stay in isolation, either at home or in a accommodation facility. The list of facilities that provide such service can be found on the Somzodpovedny.sk website. The accommodation will not be paid by the state, but from one's own pocket.

Čaputová calls for ensuring medical treatment

President Zuzana Čaputová considers it important that this event, which is huge in terms of both logistics and capacities, will not endanger the provision of health care.

“It is also important that we not yield to safety and health standards,” she said at the press conference after meeting with leading experts on the coronavirus in Slovakia.

At the same time, the president emphasised that people who will help with the testing, as well as material and equipment, not be missing in, for example, hospitals.

The president noted that Slovakia should be careful when deciding on the measures with a long-term effect, and should prevent a return to a worse condition.

The coronavirus experts have signed a joint statement, where they called on the state to follow several steps to help Slovakia handle the situation over the long-term period. This includes the availability of testing for people, as well as the limits to mobility and movement of people.

At the same time, they recommend introducing border checks, where every incomer should be tested. It is also important to prepare medical staff, and hire students and even doctors from abroad if necessary. They also call for improving the tracing of contacts and the capacities of the regional Public Health Authority branches.

“The most important is the trust of people,” Čaputová quoted a scientist, adding that it is important to listen to the voices of scientists, experts and doctors.

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