Estonia to contribute up to €100 million for coronavirus analyzes

Test samples.
Test samples. Source: ERR

Next year, Estonia will contribute up to €100 million for coronavirus analyzes, the public procurement to find someone to do this work was closed on October 14 and the results should be expected in a few weeks, the daily Postimees writes.

According to the newspaper, the winner is essentially already known - Synlab Eesti OÜ, which in cooperation with Medicum won the testing tender this year. During peak periods, 45,000 samples a week were analyzed in Synlab's Tallinn laboratory - currently, 1,500–2,000 samples per day is the usual amount, half as many on weekends, and according to the price list, the state pays Synlab €66 for analyzing each sample given by a person insured by the Health Insurance Fund.

However, mostly, the samples come from Finland, where more money moves in connection with the tests. In Finland, the state has allocated €1.5 billion for testing, however, the selling price of an analysis to a private consumer can reach €200-300.

Rainar Aamisepp, CEO at SYNLAB North Europe, said that this will be an economically good year. "Compared to many companies, we have had the opportunity to provide a service to the state and the people of Estonia in which we have an indisputable competence," he said.

To ensure sustainability, the staff of the company operating around the clock is divided into three shifts that have no contact with one another, with night and evening work paying extra.

At the same time, the virus is constantly brought in to Synlab - almost every hour, sometimes more often, a car arrives from which heavy black boxes with yellow biohazard signs are carried into the building. They contain coronavirus swabs, all wrapped in three layers of plastic according to World Health Organization (WHO) rules, Postimees writes.

Thanks to cooperation with the Helsinki University Hospital of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Synlab must be ready to analyze up to 20,000 Finnish tests a day, mostly taken at the external borders of the northern neighbor to ensure the cross-border movement of people.

Some analyzes - for example, when the label on the tube has become illegible - meanwhile end up in the refrigerator with a large text "Estonian-Finnish problems", but most receive an answer within 24 hours.

Still, according to how the indicator lines jump on the computer screen - the lion's share turns out to be negative, a small number turns out to be positive, and the smallest part remains unclear.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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