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Following the example of Slovakia: Fighting the coronavirus with antigen mass tests in Croatia ?

Antigen mass test in Croatia planned for 2021?
Antigen mass tests can contain the coronavirus infection and guarantee holidaymakers a safe 2021 tourist season.

In view of the high level of coronavirus infections throughout Europe, Croatia with antigen mass testing for COVID-19 is considering to follow the Slovakian path, as reported by the Croatian media. Slovakia has opted for the test of the entire population at a cost of over 40 million, in order to avert an economic disaster, which would inevitably result in a new lockdown for Slovakia. For Croatia, the costs have been calculated to be around 35 million euros.

Coronavirus containment

Money that would be a good investment, because it would make it possible to detect and isolate infected persons at an early stage. At the same time, family members could be placed in domestic quarantine, thus limiting the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. The targeted detection of possible coronavirus infection foci could not only provide further insights into the spread of the pandemic in Croatia, but also, similar to Slovakia, avoid a complete lockdown with unforeseeable economic consequences.

Guarantee safe tourism 2021

One thing should not be ignored: A good 20% of Croatia’s gross domestic product is contributed by tourism, an economic factor which, as is well known, plays a not inconsiderable role. If the Croats succeed in bringing the new infections under control in April and May 2021 with targeted measures, similar to those in spring 2020, nothing would stand in the way of a successful 2021 tourism season.

Learn from Antigen Mass Testing in Slovakia

But also a so-called “small solution” would be imaginable, the testing of hotspots like Zagreb or Split. The Croatian institutions responsible for fighting the COVID 19 pandemic say that they will closely monitor Slovakia’s measures and evaluate their results.

Over 38,000 positive tests

More than 3.6 million Slovaks, about two thirds of the total population, were tested for coronavirus during the first weekend, as the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Igor Matovic, declared on Monday. A total of 38,359 people or 1.06 percent tested positive for coronavirus and must be quarantined. In other words, 38,359 infected persons no longer have the opportunity to further spread the virus.

Decision maybe already Friday

On Friday of this week, the government will discuss the measures in Slovakia and evaluate their feasibility for Croatia.

Coronavirus antigen tests key to a successful tourism season 2021

Antigen tests will probably play a greater role in the 2021 tourist season in general, as it can be assumed that the coronavirus issue will not be over after Easter 2021. Here, antigen tests for the coronavirus could be the key to successfully limiting the occurrence of infection. Costs of approx. 20 euros, as expensive as the tests are at present, should be quite bearable for the majority of holidaymakers, but there may also be a chance to integrate these costs directly into corresponding offers.

Test capacities for vacationers are available 2021

Too much subjunctive? Not at all, because anyone who thoroughly searches the Internet will find: Both Germany and Austria have implemented antigen tests in the national testing strategy and listed them as an option for those entering from risk areas. Test capacities in the form of appropriate test materials should then also be ensured, as the production of the manufacturing pharmaceutical companies is already underway. However, it is important to understand that the first batches are needed for hospitals, nursing homes and similar institutions. Easter 2021 at the latest, it is said, antigen tests should also be available in sufficient quantities for vacationers.

Test strategy: Is Croatia planning mass antigen testing for 2021?
Rapid antigen tests live up to their name: fast, inexpensive and almost as reliable as a PCR test, they could provide significantly more safety in tourism in Croatia in the coming 2021 season. (Click on the picture for a larger view | Source: Federal Ministry of Health)
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