Share of positive COVID tests revealed in corporate testing falls

The share of positive cases of COVID-19 revealed in corporate testing has been on the decline as it was 0.77 percent in the first round, 0.62 percent in the second and 0.44 percent in the third round, the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SP) reported.

Firms use antigen self-testing kits in 51 percent of cases. Sixty-one percent of companies buy tests for more than 100 crowns a piece now as against 80 percent in the first round, the SP survey presented at today's online press conference showed.

The on-site testing in firms with more than 50 employees and 2.8 million tested people could have revealed up to 20,000 asymptomatic people in the first week of the corporate testing as against 17,000 in the second round and 13,000 in the third one.

The SP's findings indicate the longer the testing lasts, accompanied with a series of further sanitary and safety measures, the lower the share of positive tests, SP head Jan Rafaj said.

The Health Ministry wants to increase the frequency of corporate testing and test once in five days instead of once in seven. Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek (for ANO) wanted to take the decision after the third testing round is accomplished.

The cabinet did not discuss the issue at its meeting today, and the testing frequency will not be raised sooner than as of April 12, Havlicek told media, adding that the increased frequency still is not definitive.

Some companies would not manage it, said Havlicek, who discussed the issue with Health Minister Jan Blatny (for ANO) before the cabinet meeting. He said the effectiveness of the recent third round of testing is still being evaluated for the cabinet to see how the system works.

On March 23, the prestigious journal Science published an article on mass corporate testing on a sample of many hundreds of thousands people. It shows that even one test a week plays a significant role in reducing the viral burden in the society, member of SP managing board Miroslav Palat said.

The state should secure more capacity of PCR tests so that people can get tested already a day after they received a positive antigen tests result, Palat said. Firms report two- to four-day waiting time when the tested person has to remain in quarantine.

The SP survey was conducted on a sample of 266 companies between March 25 and 26. The mandatory on-site testing for COVID-19 concerns both the public and private sector including NGOs, freelancers and small firms with up to ten employees.

Havlicek said up to four million of workers should get tested. Public health insurers contribute 60 crowns per test and firms are eligible to be compensated for up to four tests a month.

Source: ČTK

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