VCA Pļavnieki clinic will use antigen tests to identify Covid-19 patients

This week, a pilot project will start in one of the largest medical centers in Riga, during which rapid antigen tests for the detection of Covid-19 will be performed free of charge for the visitors of the medical institution.
27.09.2021. Inga Paparde
TESTING. The rapid antigen test is used for mass testing or screening of the population, allowing the identification of the most infectious people ©Dmitrijs SUĻŽICS, F64 Photo Agency

Although the goal is clear - to find Covid-19 infected people among the clinic visitors to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the medical institution, it should be emphasized that if the test is positive, the person will not be allowed to visit the clinic.

Patients will be tested with an antigen test

The Ministry of Health, together with the Health Center Association VCA, has developed a new pilot project aimed at ensuring the safest possible provision of services in a medical institution in conditions of high morbidity with Covid-19. As part of this, rapid antigen tests or RAT will be performed free of charge for the visitors of the medical institution in the VCA Pļavnieki clinic from Monday, September 27 to Friday (i.e., one week).

The rapid antigen test is used in mass testing or screening of the population to identify the people who are most infectious and potentially able to spread the virus to a large number of other people, meaning, this test can be used to determine if a person is infected with Covid-19.

The test is voluntary, but it's in your own best interests

The Ministry of Health told Neatkarīgā that

the Covid-19 test will be offered to all visitors to the medical institution - both unvaccinated and vaccinated persons - to find out what proportion of the visitors to the institution are infected without even knowing it.

After the test, people will have to wait about 15 to 20 minutes to get the results. If the test result is positive, then a control test will be performed, the results of which will have to be awaited at home. The Ministry of Health explains that after a positive test result, the patient will not be allowed to go to the clinic for the planned service (examination or consultation), because according to epidemiological safety measures, people with Covid-19 are not allowed to visit public places. People who have a negative test result will be able to go and receive the planned treatment services.

"It should be taken into account that a patient with a positive Covid-19 test result is a spreader of the virus, so a medical institution should not be visited," adds Oskars Šneiders, a specialist from the Ministry of Health. Also before this, there have already been rules that people with Covid-19 or symptoms of the disease are not allowed to visit outpatient facilities. Covid-19 patients are also provided with a separate patient flow in hospitals, separating them from other patients.

Want to reduce the chances of infection

The aim of the pilot project is to determine the prevalence of Covid-19 among visitors to outpatient clinics. "It is important for the institution to be able to organize the safe provision of services to visitors and reduce the chances of infection specifically in medical institutions, where a large number of people gather on a daily basis," explains O. Šneiders. He adds that, of course, this test is not compulsory and is voluntary, but calls on the public to be responsive, as it is people's "contribution to safer treatment for every patient". It is also in the interest of the population to find out if you are infected, even if you do not have any symptoms of Covid-19. It should be noted that persons who do not wish to use the pilot project offer will also be able to receive health care services. The tests will be paid for by the VCA.


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