Vienna (dpa) – In Austria, mass testing is intended to effectively contain the spread of the coronavirus. Today the project starts on a large scale in the states of Vienna, Tyrol and Vorarlberg.
In the Austrian capital, citizens can have themselves tested at three locations until December 13. The capacity in Vienna is a maximum of 150,000 tests per day. The goal of the government is to have millions of people investigated. The mass testing is considered an important part, especially to detect symptom-free infected people.
Due to the nearly three-week lockdown, which will be lifted next Monday – at least as far as trade is concerned, the high number of infections in Austria has recently fallen significantly. Yet the government, made up of the conservative ÖVP and the Greens, is following a more cautious opening course. This also includes travel restrictions during Christmas and New Years. Anyone coming from a risk area, including Germany, should be placed in a ten-day quarantine, which can be terminated with a negative PCR test after the fifth day at the earliest.
In the case of mass tests, Austria is also based on experiences from neighboring Slovakia.
Slovakia conducted massive corona tests across the country on All Saints’ Day weekend (October 31 and November 1). Participation was formally voluntary, but those who did not have a negative test were not allowed to work for even two weeks. Therefore, in the first of several rounds of testing alone, 3.6 million of the 5.5 million residents underwent a rapid antigen test.
Given the cost of the millions of tests in Slovakia, there was no longer any capacity to follow up the contacts of those who tested positive. In addition, despite the knowledge that the rapid antigen tests were less reliable, there were no control tests if someone tested positive.
Meanwhile, Slovakia is gradually deviating from its strategy of nationwide corona mass testing. The nationwide corona mass testing rescheduled for the first weekend of December has been indefinitely postponed.
Another example of mass testing is the North Italian region of South Tyrol. After a multi-day corona mass test, a positive balance was drawn in the second half of November. In the small Alpine province, more than 350,000 residents had a free smear test. There were lines at the stations for the rapid antigen test. The goal, which is important for success, was achieved precisely – despite the fact that it was voluntary.
As many as 3,600 participants (approximately 1 percent) received a positive corona result at the end. You have been quarantined.