UPDATED: 24. NOV 2020, AT 18:23

Three rounds of testing should take place before Christmas

The first round will be nationwide and should take place in two weeks.

(Source: TASR)

Slovakia should undergo three rounds of antigen testing by Christmas. Eight million antigen tests will be used for this purpose, PM Igor Matovič confirmed after Monday's meeting of the central crisis staff. He added that the testing was approved by the staff.

The first round should take place on the first weekend of December throughout the country. After that, two more rounds should take place in towns and villages where a higher infection rate was recorded during the first December round of testing.

“We certainly would not be able to do it this weekend,” Matovič told the press on November 23.

Three weekends ahead of Christmas

Related article:Using only antigen tests for mass testing was the right move, says American mathematicianRead more 

The testing should begin on December 6, three weekends before Christmas, the PM said, so people can enjoy the Christmas holidays.

More detailed information should be released in the upcoming days. The PM said that the testing process should be modified, taking into consideration the colder weather. Antigen test kits work under a certain temperature and the winter weather outside will likely be too cold for the kits to work properly.

“The various bodies of the state helping to plan [the testing] should elaborate a proposal on how to conduct eight million tests over the course of three weekends in December by Wednesday,” Matovič said.

The staff also discussed a possible return to schools. Schools remained closed for now. Matovič said that children in grades five through nine of primary and secondary schools could return to schools for the last two weeks of school before the Christmas holidays. He did not provide any more details.

President: Testing should be voluntary

Related article:Weekend testing did not attract many peopleRead more 

President Zuzana Čaputová met with Matovič after he announced another three rounds of the nationwide testing on November 24. Although she cannot impact the final decision, she opined that the testing should be voluntary.

“We cannot afford to play around with the trust of people again,” she told the press.

Čaputová has also called on the government to change its attitude, and mentioned the negative impact of the pandemic on the lives of ordinary people, which results in anger and tension.

The president is convinced that people managing the country have to perceive and understand those who have lost hope. Politicians should take it into consideration when making decisions.

“We need to see responsible politicians who are able to cooperate despite different opinions, we need to see a common plan supported by scientists that will provide certainty and a chance to prepare us for what is coming,” Čaputová told the media.

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