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Slovakia Is Acquiring 13 Million Rapid Antigen Tests

Αssociated Press

(Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP, file)

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Slovakia is acquiring 13 million rapid antigen tests for a mass testing of its population amid a record surge of coronavirus infections.

Prime Minister Igor Matovic says almost 6,000 testing sites will be established across the country for the testing that is scheduled to take place the next two weekends, starting with the three or four hardest-hit counties.

Matovic says it will be similar for citizens to going to cast ballots at elections. It’s unclear if the testing will be mandatory.

Antigen tests are less accurate than PCR tests, which are considered the gold standard, but have the advantage of producing faster results.

The nation of 5.4 million has been facing a record spike with the number of confirmed positive cases in one day surpassing 2,000 on Thursday.

The Slovak authorities have so far conducted a relatively low number of tests compared with other European countries. Just under 12,000 were carried out on Friday.

The country has a total of 28,268 confirmed cases and 82 people have died.