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Czechs show high interest in the new antigen testing

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Forty percent of the Czech population is interested in voluntary antigen testing.

More than 60 000 antigen tests will be performed daily, as reported by the Minister of Health Jan Blatný. The test will be performed at 170 sampling points. It is required to register in advance at this website:

The test results are usually shown within 20 minutes. It is possible to repeat the test every five days until January 15. The negative result of the test doesn’t confirm that the person won’t get infectious shortly. As for the positive result, it will also have to be confirmed with the PCR method. People with symptoms will have to self-isolate until the fourth day of the symptoms’ disappearance. 

The Ministry of Health already stated that the intention is to find people who are infectious but don’t have such symptoms of COVID-19 as cough or loss of smell. Due to the expected family gatherings, the first tests are already planned to take place before Christmas.

“The goal of voluntary testing for the public is the early detection of infectious persons, their isolation, and the prevention of the further spread of the disease. All infected people can spread the disease two days before the onset of symptoms,” said Chief Hygienist Jarmila Rážová.

Some specialists expressed scepticism towards the performance of the tests. The fact that the Ministry of Health relies on the participation of doctors is criticized by the president of the Czech Medical Chamber Milan Kubek.

“For comprehensive testing to make sense, it is necessary to create special testing capacities. Existing sampling points that perform PCR tests are not enough,” explained Kubek. 

From mid-November, the test was required for social services where the workers were tested every five days. Last week, the antigen testing started for teachers. In the first week, nearly 12 000 of the 200 000 who had the opportunity were tested.

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