Voluntary sign-up for COVID-19 tests suspended in Latvia

Voluntary application for COVID-19 testing has been stopped, the Ministry of Health told Latvian Television October 23.

Following the announcement that from Monday state-paid COVID-19 tests will be available only with a doctor's referral, the Ministry of Health said it had observed a rush for COVID-19 tests, which is why, on Friday, October 23, voluntary sign-up for tests was suspended early at 13:00.

The Ministry of Health said that at the moment, “there is an unwarranted fuss that leads people to sign up for COVID-19 tests, creating an inappropriate burden on testing capacity”.

Consequently, a decision has been taken to suspend the voluntary signup immediately.

Specialists noted that persons with symptoms of illness should stay at home and contact a GP who will assess the need for a COVID-19 test, the Ministry of Health said. The new system coming in force Monday will form two queues for testing: primary for those with a referral and a secondary for those who wish to take a test voluntarily and will have to pay for it themselves.

The Ministry said that the volume of testing currently carried out in Latvia is optimal and that compared to other countries, such as Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, it is even higher.

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