Coronavirus infection has fallen by more than half following Slovakia’s test and quarantine campaign over the past two weekends, Prime Minister Igor Matovic told a news conference on Monday.

Of the 5.5 million inhabitants, Slovakia tested 3.6 million, except for young children and the elderly, in the first weekend of November, those with positive results being forced into quarantine, writes Agerpres.

At the end of last week, the test was repeated for a little over 2 million people in the most affected areas, the infection rate being much lower due to previous quarantine measures.

The campaign in Slovakia has been closely watched by other countries struggling with a resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 contamination cases.

Taking into account the districts where tests were performed in both weeks, the infection rate dropped from 1.47% in the first weekend to 0.62% among those tested in the second weekend, Matovic said in Press conference.

If we take into account some additional tests performed in the police, in nursing homes and in companies, the second round produced 13,509 positive cases.

“We are entering a difficult winter. We have an extremely effective tool in antigen testing that reduces the proportion of infected people by 58%, ‘said the head of government.

The testing was free and voluntary, but the government imposed a quarantine, which included a ban on commuting, for those who refused to take the test.

People must have certificates showing that they have taken the test and it has been negative.

The campaign was based on antigen tests whose results are known in 15-30 minutes, but with a lower accuracy than standard PCR tests.

The government has argued that antigen testing is worth doing and that repeating it reduces the likelihood of false negative results.

To date, Slovakia has reported 76,072 cases of infection – of which 366 deaths – detected by PCR tests. Antigen testing, which included a pilot stage and two rounds of mass testing, identified 57,462 cases.