New Slovak government to ramp up coronavirus testing

Slovakia aims to sharply increase daily coronavirus testing in the next few weeks as the new government seeks to put a clamp on the coronavirus outbreak, news wires reported. PM Igor Matovic (pictured), whose team took office few days ago, said the government would seek in coming days to double testing capacity to as many as 4,000 daily.

Since the first coronavirus infections were first recorded in country earlier this month, only around 300 people have been tested daily, and "that is well below our needs" to help detect and isolate cases. By Thursday evening Slovakia has reported 226 positive cases out of a total of 4,751 tests so far. The first two patients recovered this week. At the same time neighbouring Czech Republic has tested 26,698 and reported 1,775 cases.

There have been far fewer diagnoses of coronavirus in central Europe so far than in bigger western neighbours like Germany. But the region's economies have been hard hit due to shutdowns of borders, most shops and restaurants, and an increasing number of business idling or limiting factory output.

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