Government approved repeated mass testing that has very few backers
The government approved repeated mass testing on Monday as the Christmas lockdown, due to numerous exemptions, absence of enforcement and government’s reliance on people’s responsible behavior, did not improve the epidemiological situation. PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) claims the only alternative to the testing is closure of industrial plants, which he rejects due to the huge economic consequences. Details will be approved later, but it seems that this weekend only districts with the highest prevalence of Covid-19 will be tested, and the entire nation will be tested on January 23-24. Then, those districts with more than 0.5% of positive tests will carry out further testing. After each round of testing, only those with negative tests will be allowed to enter a workplace.
Apart from Matovič, nation-wide testing has very few backers. The Central Crisis Staff voted twice against it at the end of November, due to exhausted doctors, prohibitive costs, limits of rapid tests, and the limited impact on the further spread of the virus. Winter poses further logistical challenges. The EU and WHO recommend targeted testing only in Covid-19 hotspots, and Slovakia remains the only country in the world with mandatory nationwide testing.