Zeljka Karin: 250 Croatian PCR Test Appointments Being Missed Per Day

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, despite the fact that Omicron is spreading like wildfire and that many professionals are now wondering whether testing for the presence of the novel coronavirus has any purpose anymore, there are still huge problems with supply and demand when it comes to the ”gold standard” test – the PCR.

The problem, as they explained from the Dr. Andrija Stampar’ Institute of Public Health, are the testing appointments which go unused because the people referred simply don’t bother to turn up. On average, there are around 200-250 such cases every single day. There is a similar situation going on in Split, as well.

“The problem is really that people don’t bother to let us know that they want to cancel their PCR test appointment, meaning that they go for a quick antigen test instead or just stay at home after a positive antigen result and doesn’t bother to cancel their PCR appointment. I’m appealing to all those who aren’t going to come for their PCR test appointments to please let us know. We’re waiting for about two days for this sort of testing,” said Dr. Zeljka Karin, the director of the Teaching Institute for Public Health of Split-Dalmatia County for HRT.

“Don’t be fooled into believing that this is just Omicron and that it will pass with a milder clinical picture. Omicron creates different clinical outcomes, depending on the person. In addition, we still have the Delta strain circulating and it is still common. Six people died two days ago. You need to know that to us, when people are dying daily, it means that the virus is far from harmless. You have to go and get vaccinated and adhere to the epidemiological measures,” Dr Zeljka Karin added.

Rapid antigen tests taken at home are also a measure of protection for many, and some pharmacies sell up to 150 of these tests a day, ending their days with empty drawers.

“Rapid antigen tests are currently the most sought after commodity in pharmacies and very often in the afternoon, especially before closing, the tests actually disappear. Towards the end of last week in some pharmacies, we were told that there were no tests, but this morning we talked to suppliers and those who don’t have any today will get them over the first days of next week, so I think there will be no major problems there,” said Ana Soldo, President of the Croatian Chamber of Pharmacists, adding that rapid antigen tests are reliable and of high quality.

“Rapid antigen tests for self-testing at home are about the same accuracy as those used for professional purposes, they’re only in a different form and the instructions have been adapted to non-medically trained people that they can test themselves. So, their accuracy is mostly over 97 – 98% “, added Soldo.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn’t English.

Leave a Comment