Which student will test how it depends on which year he attends.
At its meeting on Wednesday, the government approved the possibility for the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sports, Branislav Gröhling (SaS), to procure services for testing and evaluation of a biological sample through an in vitro sampling system based on the principle of oral lavage by gargling. The Ministry of Education wants to purchase more than one million test kits, while the Ministry of Finance is to allocate 22,440,000 euros for this purpose.
Gargling and antigen tests
“Right now, it’s useless to run the whole system with those gargle tests on the numbers we have. We’ll see how we agree on the next days when testing will be under some conditions. We need a few more weeks to complete the testing. “ said the education minister after Wednesday’s government meeting.
He added that they should be in the red zone in the COVID vending machine for this method of testing. Gröhling stated that gargling tests are intended only for secondary school students and for teachers. High school students and parents will be tested by antigen tests.
The minister said that by the end of the week or the beginning of next week, they would be able to say what the schedule should look like when testing begins. Gröhling argues that obtaining gargling tests should not be a problem. “We have a good enough team at the Ministry of Education to be able to do this task very quickly,” he said.
The pilot testing using gargling took place on 12-13 December 2020 at two schools in Spišský Štiavnik and Bratislava. Most pupils were tested at both schools, and the results of the testing confirmed its feasibility in the school environment. On the basis of a successful pilot verification, the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic undertook preparatory market consultations on 18 December 2020 to find out the possibilities of procuring testing by gargling.
The ministry says that testing second-grade students and primary school teachers in all regions would require around 440,000 test kits. “In the case of the procurement of three rounds of testing (1 020 000 test kits), the total cost of the test kits, their distribution, collection and evaluation of a possible pooling of eight to ten samples and, if necessary, re-individual evaluation together with reporting of results could be in the range up to EUR 22.4 million, “ states the Ministry of Education.
Pros and cons of gargling
The Ministry of Education states that the positives of gargling testing include simple sampling without unpleasant swabbing, accurate evaluation (since samples are evaluated by PCR), minor concerns about sampling by students and parents, and the potential for sampling without medical staff and transportation. samples taken without transport medical service (according to the results of certification).
Among the negatives, the Ministry of Education stated the need to evaluate samples taken in the laboratory (PCR method), time delay of results (within two days) due to evaluation in the laboratory and especially the higher price compared to antigen tests.
Based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic of 12 January concerning the reality of securing the total volume of the contract by one supplier, negotiations will be conducted individually for the needs of each region so that a supplier capable of providing a service can be identified in each region.
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