Greece Distributes Self-Test Kits to Residents, COVID-19 Cases Goes Up

UMMATIMES - Greece plans to start distributing free do-it-yourself COVID-19 test kits next month. This was done by the government to reduce pressure on the health care system which is facing the high number of COVID-19 infections in the country.

Every Greek citizen who has a social security number is entitled to four test kits per month. The self-test kits will be distributed at the nearest pharmacies.

"This is a new tool in the country's fight against the pandemic. The tests will enable better epidemiological monitoring, and of course prevention," the Prime Minister's office said in a statement.

The government says do-it-yourself test kits have an accuracy rate of around 95% -99%. This test is easier to perform than the rapid test using a sample of the nose and saliva.

Greeks who have tested positive will be instructed to report to health authorities for monitoring and tracking of COVID-19 infection.

The government says Greece will be the first European country to make self-testing kits easily available and free.

Starting next week, Greece will lift some of the restrictions on its COVID-19 lockdown as part of a plan to gradually reopen the economy and relieve national pressure as hospitals are pressed for high cases.

On Friday (19/3), health authorities reported 2,785 cases of the new coronavirus and 64 deaths. That number brings the total number of cases to 233,079 since the first cases were detected in February last year and the death toll to 7,361 people.