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Greece EU’s Leader in Performing COVID-19 Pandemic Tests

ATHENS – While Greece is the only European Union state among 27 members not widely paying for molecular tests in most cases to check for COVID-19, the country is the bloc’s leader in overall testing.

The Health Ministry said that was shown by data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) as the major rival SYRIZA has demanded the ruling New Democracy government pick up the cost of more accurate molecular PCR tests.

The price limit for those was lowered from 60 euros ($68) to 47 euros ($53) which SYRIZA said wasn’t enough as it’s still out of reach for many Greek households where multiple tests can be needed.

“Rapid tests and PCR tests (in Greece) are performed daily, for free – and therefore without the need for a prescription – by the mobile units of EODY (National Public Health Organization,), as well as at national health system facilities. At the same time, free self-tests are also available,” the statement said, although private clinics charge for PCR tests when required.

EODY performed 8,759,556 diagnostic tests (7,642,167 rapid and 1,112,389 PCR tests) free of charge from May 1, 2020-Dec. 30, 2021, without including millions of diagnostic tests performed at public hospitals and other facilities.

In 2021, from April to the end of the year, 86,403,820 self tests were given free of charge to 7,669,956 citizens, the data showed, reported Kathimerini, adding that 20 percent of COVID cases were detected through 1,170,293 self-tests, the government paying 300 million euros ($340 million) for them.

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