“Testing at the national level will help to better identify existing outbreaks, enable the provision of adequate health care for cases with little or no symptoms of COVID-19, and more effectively separate the infected population,” the paper said.
All inhabitants of Slovakia older than ten years will be tested. The main part of the testing will take place from 30 October to 1 November and from 6 to 8 November. A pilot test will be carried out from 23 to 25 October, focusing on the districts where COVID-19 is currently most prevalent.
Sampling points shall be located and equipped according to the approved material in such a way as to ensure that all measures to limit the spread of the new coronavirus are complied with. Sampling points will be set up in such a way that their accessibility to the population is as good as possible, similarly to the establishment of polling stations.
Integrated teams led by professional soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic will operate at the sampling points, therefore the government has proposed to allocate up to 8,000 members of the army. In addition to professional soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, the integrated teams will consist of members of the Police Force, qualified medical personnel and administrative personnel. “Sampling for testing will be carried out exclusively by professionally qualified medical staff,” the approved material states.
The material shows that it is necessary to ensure the cooperation of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic with the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic, the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic and territorial self-government.
To ensure effective coordination, management and information flow, the Minister of Defense Jaroslav Naď (OĽANO) will ensure the creation of the relevant organizational structure. The Central Crisis Staff and the Government of the Slovak Republic will inform about the preparation and implementation of the testing.
At the same time, the government entrusts the Administration of State Material Reserves of the Slovak Republic with the task of providing protective aids and tests for comprehensive testing of the population.
Background: We plan to deploy all available soldiers, police and firefighters
By the end of October, the Armed Forces (OS) of the Slovak Republic will prepare and carry out a comprehensive testing of the population in connection with the new coronavirus during November. This was stated by the Minister of Defense Jaroslav Naď (OĽANO) after an extraordinary meeting of the government, stating that it will be an operational mission called Shared Responsibility. He said they planned to deploy all available soldiers, police officers, firefighters.
In the coming days, every mayor and mayor can expect a visit, where details will be discussed. “An important aspect will be pilot testing,” Naď said, adding that 24. – On October 25, it will take place in the districts of Námestovo, Tvrdošín, Dolný Kubín and Bardejov. “What we are preparing now is unparalleled in the world,” said the head of the Ministry of Defense. According to him, several countries are already preparing similar measures.
He asked people for responsibility in testing and communication. He also urged political partners to stop politicizing. The Minister thanked each soldier in advance for what he would do in this operation. “Are you ready. Together we will manage it and we will pull for one rope, “he told the army.
Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OĽANO) believes that the army can logistically organize the process. “In order to be successful, we need as many people as possible to come,” the prime minister said. Otherwise, measures will have to be taken, as in Israel or Paris. “Lockdown is one option and double testing of the population is another option,” he added.
Economy Minister Richard Sulík (SaS) says it is important to know who is and who is not infected. “Whoever gets infected will have to spend time in quarantine. I fully support it, “Sulík remarked after Sunday’s government meeting. At the same time, he appreciates that nationwide testing will take place in the four most infected districts.
According to Parliament Speaker Boris Kollár (We are a family), nationwide testing will provoke great anger from the population, which he understands. He claims that this is the last chance to avert the lockdown. At the same time, he called on the opposition not to break up society and to pull together for a common rope. “I don’t think people will welcome it, there will be a lot of senseless attacks on the government, but it’s the only way to deal with this,” Kollár said.
Justice Minister Mária Kolíková (For People) said that the government is expected to take effective measures to combat the new coronavirus, and testing is exactly that, she said. Kolíková met with the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, Daniel Zmek, who, according to her, was trustworthy and meaningful, and the whole operation thus made sense. “We have to be cooperative. We will not stand apart and we will respect the measures. ”
Matovic said that during the government meeting they talked for a long time about whether testing would be mandatory or voluntary, he does not yet have a definitive answer. The aim is to identify as many spreaders of the virus as possible, the Prime Minister noted. “The basis of organizational success is the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic,” said Matovič, adding that the guarantee of the success of well-performed tests are again medical staff. The Minister of Health Marek Krajčí (OĽANO) believes that there are enough staff in Slovakia who will be involved in the implementation of testing. There are 19,000 paramedics and 34,000 nurses in Slovakia, medical students, paramedics and about 400 soldiers could also take part in the testing, he said.
The government will inform about the details of the testing in the coming days. The goal of testing is to capture as many positive people as possible. “The more people come, the sooner we start living a normal life,” says the prime minister. He estimates that antigen tests could detect approximately 30 percent of the COVID-19 positive population.
Krajčí also pointed out that even if antigenic tests do not detect a positive person, because he will have a low viral load at the time of testing, he will reliably protect people from infection by infection.
On the sidelines of the fact that the Prime Minister did not inform the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová about the nationwide testing, he stated that she, as the commander of the Slovak Armed Forces, did not have to be informed about every step. “The Commander-in-Chief of the OS is a ceremonial function outside the time of the war. The president takes command during the war, “the Prime Minister explained. However, he declared that he would meet Čaputová and explain everything to her, because this is an extraordinary situation and everyone has to pull for one rope.
Paramedics welcome the testing of the population of Slovakia under the responsibility of the Army
The Public Health Office (ÚVZ) SR welcomes the fact that comprehensive testing of the population of Slovakia will take place under the responsibility of the Armed Forces (OS) of the SR. The capacities of regional ÚVZs have been overloaded for a long time, despite the extraordinary measures that have been taken. This was stated by the Chief Hygienist of the Slovak Republic, Ján Mikas, in response to the announced general testing of the population in connection with the new coronavirus.
“We are aware that this will be a very complex and demanding process. We perceive challenges in the field of logistics, short preparation time, legal difficulties and other necessary tasks that need to be solved immediately, “remarked the chief hygienist. As he added, ÚVZ will be as synergistic as possible within its capabilities and capacities.
At the same time, Mikas turned to all Slovak citizens to take the opportunity to get tested. “By their decision, they can influence the further development of the pandemic in Slovakia. Everyone can contribute to its successful management, “he added.
The Slovak Republic is currently in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The epidemiological situation in Slovakia is very serious. Since the introduction of RT-PCR diagnostics in Slovakia, ÚVZ SR has been constantly working to increase the examination capacity of laboratories. We also support the introduction of antigen tests, “said Mikas. According to him, they can identify the most infectious people well enough and especially quickly. “We listened with interest to the proposal of area testing of the entire population. This can identify thousands of infected people who have not yet been caught. Subsequent domestic isolation of positive people has the potential to influence the current unfavorable development, “concluded the chief hygienist.