Using only antigen tests for mass testing was the right move, says American mathematician

The rounds of testing work like the layers of a filter, removing a large fraction of infected individuals in each round, says Daniel Larremore.

Free antigen testingFree antigen testing (Source: Sme)

Daniel Larremore, assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science & BioFrontiers Institute, University of Colorado Boulder, is closely watching the development in Slovakia after several rounds of antigen testing. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on the current situation in Slovakia:

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The Slovak Spectator (TSS): New positive cases detected by PCR testing have dropped recently, but so did the number of performed PCR tests. The government admits the data are now fogged due to the antigen testing, which took place not only in two mass events but is also available around the country free-of-charge. Do you find the picture the data are painting useful in determining whether antigen testing en masse makes sense or not?

Daniel Larremore (DL): The proof of whether the interventions—testing, curfews, masks, and so on—are working is ultimately in whether new hospitalisations decrease. These numbers cut through any disruptions or fog in the testing and case count numbers, and ultimately, a decrease in hospitalisations is the goal of all the COVID-related public health measures.

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