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Greece’s Diagnostic Centers Say COVID Rapid Tests Priced Too Low

ATHENS – A requirement that people not vaccinated against COVID-19 going to work and school must get two molecular tests a week – at a cost of 10 euros $11.75) – won't work for private diagnostic centers who said they want double that.

The New Democracy government has set the testing requirement as part of measures trying to push the unvaccinated to get shots to slow the rising COVID-19 pandemic, with the Delta Variant targeting those not inoculated.

A group of unions representing diagnostic centers and facilities said that, “It is impossible to carry out a rapid test at a cost of 10 euros, because this price is below operation costs, which are at least 12 euros  ($14.10)for the average diagnostic lab,” reported Kathimerini.

The union statement said that it estimates new public health safety regulations to lead to an increase in demand for rapid tests at private diagnostic facilities from around 50,000 a day to 250,000, adding that testing centers will have to invest in more staff and equipment to keep up.

The government said that  private and public sector workers who have not been vaccinated against COVID019 or don't have proof of recovery will have to take one rapid test a week before they are allowed to go to work.

Two tests weekly will be required for people working in academia, tourism, restaurants, cafes, bars, and in entertainment productions and set the 10 euro estimate that the union said is unrealistic and not profitable.

Free tests at public facilities would be restricted only to people who have been vaccinated and to those showing symptoms of the disease. The new measures go into effect on Sept. 13.

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