Policy responses for Slovakia - HSRM


Policy responses for Slovakia

1.5 Testing

Any person meeting the criteria of a suspected case should be laboratory tested for SARS-CoV-2 as a part of an active case search. The specific groups indicated for testing are specified more in detail by the clinical testing protocol issued by the National Crisis Clinical Team (NaKriKT) on the website of the Ministry of Health and www.standardnepostupy.sk.

Diagnostic tests are carried out upon the recommendation from the GP in agreement with the responsible hygienists, if there is a suspicion of infection.

If a GP or medical specialists suspect COVID-19 after an assessment of the clinical and epidemiological criteria, with an emphasis on the traveler's medical history, the patient is referred to the appropriate infectology center to determine the next course of treatment.

In addition to state laboratories, private laboratories started to offer testing for SARS-CoV-2 (charged ca. 60 EUR for a test). Since March 26, capacity of testing rapidly increased to approximately 1000 tests per day. The capacity reached 2000 in April and is expected to grow up to 3000 per day. 
Samples are collected at the special tents (external testings points) at the hospital entrance (altogether 78 hospitals in Slovakia), as of April 21, 55 testing points were functional.

Since Apri 1l, 4 laboratories are performing the analysis of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 within the Slovak Republic (based in Bratislava, Košice, Banská Bystrica and Trenčín).

In total, nine crews of emergency ambulances have been designated for collection of biological materials for testing in the Slovak Republic. Each region has one designated crew that can provide the collection of biological material (mucosal swabs) from patients at home who are suspected to have COVID-19. An infectologist trained crew personnel to collect material. The Ministry of Health designated the emergency ambulance stations for the collection of biological material.

After mobility restrictions and measures announced on March 24 and 27 were implemented, the effect of lower peak and slower onset of disease is more visible.

Anyone with symptoms or suspect of the disease can request testing via an electronic form.

From April 26 until further notice, COVID-19 samples may be taken in the households of an immobile patient through the ambulance service.

Samples collection will be performed in cases where the patient does not have the opportunity to travel by car to the mobile testing points and his condition does not require a medical examination or hospitalization.

The capacity of testing rapidly increased to approximately 4000-5000 tests per day.