Slovenia conducts mass testing for coronavirus

Voluntary mass testing for coronavirus started in a number of Slovenian towns on Tuesday, with long lines reported in big towns.

People who wish to get tested free-of-charge need to bring along their ID and health insurance card. They must also give a mobile number to which the test result is sent. No appointments are required, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Up to two tests are conducted in a mobile unit a minute, and the results are out in 15-30 minutes, Ziga Skok from the Ljubljana Medical Centre said in Celje, the third-largest city in Slovenia.

At Congress Square in Ljubljana, people waited about two hours to get tested around noon.

Most people want to get tested because they were recently in contact with an infected person or they want to be sure that they are healthy before meeting other people during the holidays.

Due to high demand, the Health Ministry said in the afternoon that additional testing locations would open on Wednesday.

Marija Magajne, state secretary at the Ministry of Health, said the ministry was pleasantly surprised by the high turnout.

The mass testing will be held until Dec. 24. After the holidays, rapid tests will be used among specific groups of residents, including those in education and child care.

Official figures released on Tuesday showed that 1,474 new infections were confirmed in the last 24 hours in 5,763 PCR tests, while another 30 infections were detected in 1,653 rapid tests.

The national tally of Cpvid-19 cases has increased to 107,770, while the death toll rose by 39 to 2,422.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, countries including France, Germany, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.