Rapid COVID-19 tests reduce morbidity in Slovakia by 60% in one week

The Slovakian model for combating the spread of the virus has proven itself time and time again • pandemic could be completely eradicated worldwide within six weeks

Quidel's Sofia kits for rapid coronavirus testing. (photo credit: SOFIA ISRAEL)
Quidel's Sofia kits for rapid coronavirus testing.
(photo credit: SOFIA ISRAEL)
Rapid antigen tests have reduced coronavirus morbidity rates in Slovakia by about 60% in only one week, new British research has found.
The Slovakian model for combating the spread of the virus, by administering mass double-testing and focusing more on areas with higher morbidity rates, has proven itself time and time again.   
The researchers indicated that if the world adopted this method today, the pandemic could be completely eradicated within six weeks. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also recommended significantly increasing the number of available rapid antigen tests as soon as possible. 
Perhaps the most widely used coronavirus rapid test kit is the Sofia kit developed by American company Quidel. In the past couple of months, Israel has been receiving shipments of the rapid test kits and deploying them throughout the country, while connecting them to systems used by the Health Ministry.
"Rapid and large-scale tests have proven to be efficient in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic around the globe, at least until the long-anticipated vaccine reaches the entire population, and probably after as well," a statement by Sofia Israel said. 
The 300 kits of Sofia which were purchased by Israel have been distributed to retirement homes, medical clinics, health funds and IDF bases, as well as to Israel Police and Prison Services facilities. Sofia Israel has noted that this means Israel would be able to adopt the Slovakian model of conducting large-scale rapid tests successfully. 
"The importance of receiving immediate results is critical in managing the outbreak, and overpowers the benefits of slow and more accurate lab tests that require several days for providing results," a Sofia Israel press release said.
Each Sofia kit can administer 40 tests per hour and provide results within 15 minutes. In a day, 960 Israelis can be tested using one kit only. The 300 kits already distributed, working 24/7, have the capacity to test 288,000 Israelis every day.