Government to decide on mass testing early next week

Coronavirus testing in Viljandi.
Coronavirus testing in Viljandi. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

The government is currently collecting data on various rapid tests for coronavirus and will decide on whether to start mass testing at the beginning of the next week.

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said at a press conference on Friday said: "We agreed that by Monday we will get a picture of the tests in use in different countries, we will mainly look at other European Union countries. I believe that concrete decisions will come on Monday." He added the government discussed the issue very thoroughly on Friday.

"Basically, the decision has been made, today we looked at the tactics of different countries, what kind of rapid testing they have enabled," said Reinsalu. 

He said it is a question of the quality of tests, because there is no point in using tests that do not give a reliable result or are too complicated to use.

The government gave guidelines for finding suitable companies to offer the tests, the foreign minister added.

Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) clarified to ERR that a decision on starting mass testing could come on Tuesday. "Rather, it will be on the agenda on Tuesday," Kiik told ERR.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) also said on Thursday night on ETV's "Aktuaalne Kaamera" that he supports mass testing, but in order to start such a program, it is necessary to use a reliable test.

"I support the principle of mass testing, we will discuss it again in our committee tomorrow, but it presupposes that we get tests that are reliable, high-quality and easy to use," said Ratas.

Currently, employees and residents of all Estonian care homes are being tested for the coronavirus.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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