By Tony Winterburn • 20 March 2021 • 20:12
The couple were sent an empty test tube. image: Twitter
Greece To Hand Out Self-Testing Kits As COVID-19 Cases Remain High.
Greece has said it will start distributing free do-it-yourself COVID-19 tests in April as it seeks to alleviate pressure on a healthcare system facing a stubbornly high level of new infections that are sweeping the country.
Each person with a social security number will be entitled to four of the test kits per month, and they will be distributed at pharmacies. “It is a new tool in the country’s battle against the pandemic. The tests will allow better epidemiological monitoring, and of course prevention,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
The government said the do-it-yourself test kits have an accuracy rate of about 95%-99%. They are easier to do than rapid tests, needing nasal and saliva samples instead of the nasopharyngeal sample used in rapid tests.
People who get a positive result will be instructed to report it to health authorities for the monitoring and tracing of COVID-19 infections. The government said Greece would be the first European country to make such test kits so easily available and free of charge.
Greece will lift some COVID-19 lockdown restrictions next week as part of a plan to gradually reopen the economy and relieve national fatigue even as its hospitals remain under severe pressure.
On Friday, health authorities reported 2,785 new coronavirus cases and 64 deaths, bringing total infections to 233,079 since the first case was detected in February last year and the death toll to 7,361.
A minister has said tourists should begin booking their flights to Greece for the summer. Greece’s tourism minister said tourists should make travel plans as the country prepares to receive holidaymakers again and has put in place measures, including changes to check-in, to allow travel.
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