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Most of Slovakia Tested

Slovakia tested 3.6 million people last weekend for SARS-CoV-2 as part of an effort to avoid both overwhelmed hospitals and a lockdown, NPR reports, noting that that number accounts for about two-thirds of the country's population.

The Lancet reports that while Slovakia initially had a good handle on the pandemic, cases there have recently been rising quickly. Through this mass testing program, NPR reports 38,359 indiviudals, or just more than 1 percent, tested positive for the virus. It notes that the program relied on antigen tests, which provide results more quickly, but are not as accurate as PCR tests. People who tested positive or declined testing, with some exceptions, must quarantine for 10 days, it adds. 

The University of Warwick's Mike Tildesley tells CNN that mass testing could help control disease spread. "However, it is important to realize that just because someone tests negative it does not mean that they will necessarily be free from infection a few days later," he adds. "So any mass testing strategy needs to be carried out at regular intervals … in order to be an effective strategy and to allow some lockdown measures to be relaxed."

NPR adds that Slovakia plans to conduct more testing this coming weekend.

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