38,000 in quarantine after bulk of Slovakia gets tested for virus


Mass coronavirus testing in Slovakia turned up 38,000 positive results after two-thirds of the country turned out for the two-day venture, Prime Minister Igor Matovic said on Monday.

He called it a success that so many of Slovakia’s 5.5 million inhabitants voluntarily participated and noted that the multiple positive tests mean that those people, who are now going into quarantine, won’t be unknowingly passing on the disease.

Matovic said he hadn’t expected turnout to be so high. According to the government, more than 3.6 million people turned up for testing on Saturday and Sunday. Everyone from the age of 10 who had not already submitted to a valid test had been urged to turn up.

The tests were voluntary, although from Monday anyone without a confirmed negative test is subject to a strict curfew that keeps them from leaving their home, even for work.

However, experts and local officials are showing signs of resistance to a second countrywide round of testing planned for this weekend. Medical officials already said before the first round that it was a waste of already stretched resources.

Meanwhile, municipal leaders said they had been expected to help carry out “the largest logistical act in the history of Slovakia” without sufficient information or preparation. Some mayors said they would boycott a second round.

Matovic first aired the idea two weeks ago and has said that other EU leaders have indicated they might want to try something similar in their countries.

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