In an effort to make testing for the coronavirus accessible to a wider circle of people, another collection point was established in Prague from yesterday.
Lab technicians are now taking samples in a tent located in the car park of Žluté lázně, a popular riverside “beach” recreation area in Prague’s Podolí district.
Patients who visit the testing location can opt for capillary blood collection from a finger or a throat swab. Similar to the drive-thru coronavirus testing point at Výstaviště, the collection of samples will also take place using the “drive-in” method, allowing people to be tested without leaving their cars.
“We will perform a nasopharyngeal swab for subsequent direct detection of the virus by PCR. You can also come to see if you have encountered coronavirus in the past and developed antibodies against it,” says Dr. Zuzana Semeráková, head of clinical microbiology at Prague-based diagnostic lab Spadia which is operating the testing point.
Swabs are only performed on people 15 years of age and over. To speed up processing, an application can be downloaded and printed from the diagnostic lab’s website. The PCR test costs 1,990 CZK, the Rapid Test costs 490 CZK. Applicants who need proof of a negative PCR examination for a trip abroad can pay an additional 200 CZK on the spot.
The result of the quick orientation Rapid Test can be determined on the spot in 15-20 minutes; the PCR result for self-payers will be sent by the laboratory to the given email address the next day.
Patients who are sent for an exam at the request of their general practitioner or hygienist will have their results sent via ÚZIS or directly to their prescribing doctor.
The sampling tent will be in operation workdays from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, with the exception of Wednesdays, when testing will take place from 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm.
The laboratory says it is prepared for increased interest in testing. “Even if we can’t estimate how many people will be on-site at a given time, we will try to oversee the smooth operation of the site,” says Dr. Semeráková.
The lab expects to take samples throughout May though if there is interest testing may continue into June as well.
The public can now be tested at the Central Military Hospital in Střešovice or the collection point at the Prosek Polyclinic in Prague 9 in addition to the drive-through collection point at the Exhibition Center.
As of today, the Czech Republic reports 227 COVID-19-related deaths, 3,120 recoveries. At present 4,234 Czechs have COVID-19, 348 of whom are hospitalized. Since the beginning of the infection, the ministry has recorded 7,581 cases with laboratories carrying out over 7,000 tests.