A small blue pattern will change the way you live in Slovakia.
- Slovakia tests two-thirds of its population over two weekends in a bid to avoid COVID-19 locking
- Those with a negative test receive a medical certificate that allows them to enter stores and restaurants
- Those who refuse to test should spend 10 days alone at home
COVID-19 certificates are issued to all participants in the massive pilot project – designed to reach every Slovakian over the age of 10.
That’s about 3.8 million people.
Those who test negative can avoid being locked up, but those who refuse to clear should stay at home.
According to economics student Victor Frowalt, the results of the test are simple.
“I can go anywhere because I am safe,” he told ABC.
Employees at shops, bars and restaurants may be asked to view the hosts’ blue certificates before granting entry.
“This is definitely a test,” he said.
“[But] It is good for everyone to know if they are affected or not. “
Another student, Dorota Bartkova, said she hoped the mass testing program would help her country control the virus.
“I think this is a good time for us to do our country population screening,” he said.
“I want to do my part.
“And, of course, I want to get involved in normal life and, again, want to go shopping and go to work and school.”
Results in 15 minutes
At a test center in the city of Svolen, Maria Svalova closes her eyes and gets a little hit because a cloth is inserted into her nose.
Fifteen minutes later, she is given a blue certificate to prove she tested negative.
He said he hoped it would give him extra freedom and peace of mind.
“We are grandparents, our family contact is minimal,” he said.
“Now, it’s about my health and the health of my partner.”
The Slovak government hopes to lead the world in mass testing.
Luxembourg has previously announced a similar strategy, although its population is only 600,000.
Two rounds of testing were conducted over the past two weekends with 3.6 million people – two-thirds of the population – participating over the first weekend of November and more than 2 million tested last weekend.
Participants are cleared through the nose and their sample is analyzed using an antigen test that looks for specific proteins on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Unlike the PCR test, this does not require laboratory analysis.
However, what Slovakia’s antigen gets at test speed is that it loses accuracy.
“Half of these tests can detect real infections,” said Marek Flesco, a pediatrician in the central city of Pansca Bystrica.
“Therefore, if someone gets a negative test, he or she will not be satisfied and they will not spread the virus.”
The test has its own ‘risks’
Slovakia recorded only a few cases daily in the European summer, but by the end of last month they were more than 3,000 a day.
In the latest round of rapid testing, 13,509 samples (0.66 percent) gave a positive result.
In general the mask is mandatory and social contact is limited to six people.
Dr. Blasco said the mass testing program would undermine public health guidance if people had too much confidence in the accuracy of the tests and felt they were not affected.
“They have to be careful and still abide by the rules.”
Dorota Bartova agreed.
“Psychologically, it affects people and they don’t accept the rules,” he said.
“So I think it’s good to present [to] This is screening only and its sensitivity is not 100 percent. “
Not everyone is on the ship with the test
The government’s goal of testing every adult is not universally welcomed.
Evan Lenar, mayor of the central Slovak city of Horna Mykina, tells the ABC he has two minds about strategy, stirring up a large tank of wild boar cowlash.
“I totally disagree … but it would be nice if it helped the country,” he said.
Mr Lenar cooked koulash to feed the medical staff who were examining people in his town.
He said some people agreed to the test to avoid loss of income.
“You really have to get certified to go to work. That’s why many people do it.”
Those who refuse to be tested should spend 10 days alone at home.
Rastislav Denzev, another resident of Horna Mykina, said he did not think many people had a choice.
“I don’t know how it would be to volunteer if you had to be tested to get to your job.”
Mr Denzev said the government should explain what it plans to do with the test results.
“What’s the next step? No one knows,” he said.
The government has announced that a new round of testing will begin later this month, focusing on areas with the highest number of numbers.
“If they lock us in more, they’re going to frustrate a lot of people,” he said.