Slovakia wants to deploy 8,000 soldiers and 50,000 officials for massive corona tests among the population. The government decided that on Sunday.
Defense Minister Jaroslav Nad said after a special cabinet meeting, according to the TASR news agency, he will deploy all available soldiers, police officers and firefighters to the project.
It was still unclear whether the tests would be voluntary or mandatory. Prime Minister Igor Matovic said the issue had been hotly debated. For the mass tests to be successful, as many people as possible would need to participate, Matovic said. Otherwise, a national lockdown threatens.
Due to the increasing number of new infections, the government leader announced national mass tests on Saturday. Citizens could have themselves tested for free in about 6,000 places across the country. Children under ten are excluded.
The government has ordered about 13 million antigen tests for the campaign, which it hopes will see results soon. The first test round should already take place this weekend. More tests will be conducted on the following two weekends.
Since the start of the pandemic, Slovakia has registered 29,835 corona infections. At least 88 people have died from Covid-19.
At first glance, the number of corona deaths in the country with 5.4 million inhabitants seems low. But the country only considers deaths for whom no cause of death can be identified other than the lung virus.