Long queues for Covid-19 tests in Latvia

The demand for laboratory Covid-19 tests is increasing rapidly, and queues can be several days long. It could mean that by the time the person gets a test it is already negative. Ministry of Health plans to identify priority groups for testing, Latvian Radio reported on January 20.

Laboratories are currently very busy. A booking for a Covid test at E. Gulbja laboratory is available only in approximately five days. Laboratory spokeswoman Džineta Dimante said: that this is too long, since tests are often negative for those infected with the Omicron several days prior.

The testing process is also taking longer now, with each sample being retested to avoid false positives. Consequently, the results may be delayed at times, but they should be prepared within 48 hours, Dimante said.

At the Central Laboratory tests also are available only within five days. The demand has doubled compared to December, the lab's spokeswoman Stella Lapiņa said. The lab is planning to open more testing points.

In order to normalize the situation, the Ministry of Health is considering priority groups: people with Covid-19 symptoms or with a doctor's referral could be given priority. Discussions on the matter are ongoing.

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