COVID-19 test queues grow in Latvia

Queues for state-paid COVID-19 testing are getting longer in Rīga, and doctors are calling on people without symptoms not to form a line, Latvian Television reported October 5.

The waiting time for a state-paid COVID-19 test after calling the joint number 8303 is six days. Increasing spread of the infection in the country has also increased the desire to check one’s health. But doctors are asking without signs of disease, not to form a line. The line is intended for those who, without the COVID-19 test, cannot undergo surgery or begin chemotherapy.

“Just as the news came that infection is spreading, people started wanting to test if they didn’t have [COVID-19]. If there are no symptoms, the risk of being ill is low, but if there are clinical symptoms, you should already contact a GP, ” said Aleksejs Višņakovs, head of the Riga East Clinical University Hospital’s Emergency Medical and Patients Reception Clinic.

The call center explained that if a person needs testing before surgery or if there are symptoms of illness, it is always possible to perform the test more quickly. The situation in the queue may change within a minute. There are many who call back in good faith and give up the time they have already reserved because they have performed the test in another laboratory.

“It would be important to understand that you should not test without need. Tests are meant for those planning to be in hospital, chemotherapy, HIV, with chronic diseases. It is the contingent for which tests are needed. Those who are healthy don’t need them,” Višņakovs said.

LSM.LV

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