COVID-19 tests not free for everyone starting next week in Latvia

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Starting next Monday, state-paid COVID-19 testing will only be available for those with a doctor's referral, Latvian Television reported October 21.

As reported, currently, around 4,000 COVID-19 tests are carried out in one day and wait can be as long as six days. Latvia's COVID-19 laboratory network coordinator Sergejs Ņikišins said that most come on their own free will, only 400-500 a day are those with a referral.

From now on, it is planned that there will be two queues. The first queue will be for those with a referral - people with symptoms, contact persons, those who need a test for medical treatment - and the second queue will be for everyone else, who will have to pay for their own test.

GPs have said, though, that they disagree with this system, as referrals take time away from other patients. An agreement was reached Wednesday with a condition that it is temporary.

The new system will be in force from next Monday until November 8. Meanwhile, Health Ministry will have to follow the results and evaluate other options.


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