Cabinet wants mass testing to break the curve

Testing may take place on a weekly basis until late February.

PM Igor MatovičPM Igor Matovič (Source: SITA)

Given the critical situation in Slovakia, affected by the high number of hospitalised patients and new coronavirus mutation, the current lockdown measures may not be enough to contain the disease. As a result, the cabinet has proposed holding mass testing from next weekend at least until the end of February.

“It’s not possible to impose an even stricter lockdown,” PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) said. “The only other measure to break the curve is mass testing.”

The plan is to hold nationwide testing the next weekend (January 23-24) and then in selected districts on a weekly basis, until the reproduction number drops to 0.5. The testing may last until late February.

“There’s no other way; any other path is false,” Matovič said.

The cabinet will now convene meetings between the representatives of selected ministries, municipalities and regions to talk about details.

High number of patients and new mutation

Related articleThousands of people got tested during the weekend Read more 

Meanwhile, the number of hospitalised patients with COVID-19 increased to 3,292, with about 250 being on artificial lung ventilation.

Another problem that complicates the situation is a new strain of the coronavirus from the UK, which has been confirmed in Michalovce, Nitra and Bratislava so far, as Health Minister Marek Krajčí (OĽaNO) has confirmed.

As it is more contagious and more aggressive than the original virus, it is possible that it will soon prevail. As a result, the prognosis is much worse for the coming weeks.

As Matovič told the press conference, vaccination that stated in late December will not be enough to help improve the situation. However, it will be necessary to continue the vaccination schedule alongside the mass testing.

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