The Slovenia Times

Long lines as voluntary mass testing begins

Health & Medicine

Ljubljana/Celje - Voluntary trial mass testing started in several Slovenian towns on Tuesday, with long lines reported in big towns. In Ljubljana, people waited about two hours to get tested around noon. In Celje, the waiting time is also more than an hour.

Most people want to get tested because they were recently in contact with an infected person or to be sure that they are healthy before meeting other people during the holidays.

Both young and older people can be seen in the lines. Some came prepared, with something to read, or in a group.

Due to high demand, the Health Ministry said in the afternoon that additional testing locations would open tomorrow. The list of locations is yet to be made available in the ministry's website. State secretary Marija Magajne said the ministry was pleasantly surprised by the high turnout.

Up to two tests are conducted in a mobile unit a minute, and the results are known in 15-30 minutes, Žiga Skok from the Ljubljana Medical Centre said in Celje today.

Those tested are informed of their test result in a text message. The results are also entered into the national patient register.

Nuška Čakš Jager, deputy head of the Centre for Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Public Health, warned today that those with a negative result must still adhere to protective measures during the holidays.

A negative test means a person is not infected now but this does not mean that they cannot develop symptoms in two to three days or get infected later. She again called on people to stay within their bubbles for the holidays.

She also stressed that those who have symptoms of Covid-19 must not wait in lines but call their doctor to make an appointment for testing.

According to the official, the data from PCR tests and the rapid tests would be collected separately, so no infection would be counted twice.

On Monday, 1,474 infections were confirmed in 5,763 PCR tests, while another 30 infections were detected in 1,653 rapid tests.

Those who wish to get tested free-of-charge need to bring along their ID and health insurance card. They must also give a mobile number to which the test result is sent. No appointments are required.

The mass testing will be held until 24 December. After the holidays, rapid tests will be used among specific groups of residents, including those in education and child care.


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