Starting on January 23, people are now able to take a PCR test by gargling, as an equal alternative to the nasopharynx swab. They are provided by a private lab, meaning that people have to pay for them.
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The Alpha Medical company, which developed and launched the tests, claims that the results are extremely accurate.
“The comfort of sampling is very important, but as an accredited lab, we have to guarantee the accuracy of results,” said Peter Lednický, CEO of Alpha Medical, as quoted by the TASR newswire. He adds that they tested the gargling tests on their employees and properly checked whether they meet the parameters of PCR tests.
People interested in gargling tests can order the testing on the Lab.online website. It will be gradually used in all testing sites operated by the company. They cost €59.
How the test is taken
The test is suitable for people who consider the classic nasopharynx swab unpleasant or cannot take it due to some nose injury. It is also appropriate for children younger than 10 years of age if they can gargle.
The test uses a slightly salty saline solution. Before taking the test, people are required not to eat, drink, gargle or chew gum for at least two hours. They are asked to blow their nose and cough into a tissue shortly before taking the test. They then receive the solution, a straw and a test tube. People should gargle the solution for at least 30 seconds. The straw will be used to empty the liquid into the test tube, TASR wrote.
The bottle in which the saline solution was in and the straw should be thrown away into biological waste.
People will receive their test result in both Slovak and English, TASR wrote.
Gargling tests at schools
The cabinet agreed at its January 13 session that gargling tests can be used by pupils before their return to school.
The Education Ministry was tasked with purchasing more than 1 million testing kits, with the Finance Ministry allocating €22.4 million for this purpose, TASR reported.
The gargling tests should be used by pupils of grades 5-9 of primary schools and teachers. Secondary school students and parents should take antigen tests, according to Education Minister Branislav Gröhling.
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25. Jan 2021 at 17:54 | Compiled by Spectator staff