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Latvia aims for 10,000 COVID-19 tests a day

One of the government's plans to cut COVID-19 is to increase testing capacity, reaching 10,000 tests a day, Latvian Television reported December 2.

The number of tests conducted last week was quite significant. Eight thousand, seven thousand, but then followed Saturday with four thousand tests and Sunday with two thousand.

Increasing the number of daily tests to 10,000 is realistic, but a number of rules need to be met.

The biggest problem is the testing sites closed on holiday, as the laboratory sample processing capacity is sufficient.

“Statistics will decrease by half on Saturday, but three or four times on Sunday,” said Sergejs Ņikišins, coordinator of the COVID-19 network of laboratories.

This will be the solved in the near future, with contracts for work also on Sundays and especially outside Rīga.

Another step is encouraging doctors to send people to tests more actively . At present, these are approximately 3500-4000 tests per day directly assigned by a doctor.

“There could be more incentive to send [people to tests], and especially on weekends,” Ņikišins said.

But there are also those who don't go to the test. According to GPs, more and more people brought into hospital with pneumonia and suspected to have COVID-19 have refused the test.

There are not many, but they also create statistics and endanger others without knowing their real situation.

“It's a person's free choice and one can't force a person to go to the test, and there are different reasons, but if a doctor recommends, sign in and go. There's nothing horrible about it,” Ņikišins said.


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