Coronavirus antibody testing begins in Saaremaa ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Coronavirus antibody testing.
Coronavirus antibody testing. Source: EBU/ERR

Free wide-scale antibody testing for coronavirus began in Saaremaa on Tuesday and a test can be performed on anyone who wishes, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund said.

Külli Friedemann, the head of the EHIF's primary services, said testing the population of the area which has survived an outbreak of the disease can map the actual spread of the virus and draw important conclusions for the next steps.

Unlike a standard coronavirus test, which is performed through the nose, the antibody test is carried out with a blood sample.

Participation in the survey is free of charge and participants do not need a referral letter. All residents of Saare County who want a test can get one via a family doctor.

In addition, it is planned to expand the study to include medical staff who worked at the forefront of the outbreak across Estonia. These will include ambulance and specialized COVID staff amongst others.

The study is carried out in cooperation with the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, family doctors and Kuressaare Hospital.

Saare County was a former outbreak zone in March, April and May. To find out more read ERR News' timeline of events on the islands.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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