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Slovakia reports that none of the samples tested for COVID-19 in Jarovnice came back positive

5.4.2020 10:31
Testing for COVID-19 in the municipality of Doľany, Slovakia, 4 April 2020. (PHOTO:  Facebook page of the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities)
Testing for COVID-19 in the municipality of Doľany, Slovakia, 4 April 2020. (PHOTO: Facebook page of the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities)

Yesterday evening the first results were reported of the tests conducted for COVID-19 in selected communities in Slovakia identified as mostly inhabited by Romani people, including recent returnees from abroad. On Friday 49 samples were taken in the municipality of Jarovnice and all the results have come back negative.

MEP Peter Pollák, a member of the Central Crisis Team, confirmed the findings to TV Markíza. Yesterday testing continued with the aid of military physicians in the municipalities of Smižany, Kecerovce, Doľany, Hrabušice, Zborov, Markušovce and Trebišove.

Just as on Friday, the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities, Andrea Bučková, was on the scene yesterday during the testing. "Today we began in Doľany and everything took place in an absolute atmosphere of calm, in the presence of the mayor and all the members of the helping professions. Then we relocated to Markušoviec and were informed that in Kecerovce and Smižany there was also absolute calm. People are collaborating and providing cooperation. Representatives of local governments are, so far, meeting us halfway, as are all those somehow involved in this situation. Our military experts who are there and who are doing the testing have assessed the situation as being in order," TV Markíza quoted her as saying.

The Plenipotentiary added that the localities being visited are segregated and in many locations people have no access to potable water; multiple generations of the same family live together in the housing units, and the main health-related problems are "diseases of civilization" such as cardiovascular disease, hepatitis and tuberculosis. "If anybody tests positive for COVID-10, we will have to make it possible for that person to recover easily, because that is the only way the virus can be brought to heel," she added.

The mayor of Hrabušice, according to TV Markíza, reported that Romani residents there are approaching the testing responsibly, even if sometimes complaints about the Army presence are being voiced. That municipality of 2 521 inhabitants has 1 100 Romani residents.

"I believe this testing is also good because the Romani people must be made aware that this is about responsibility and that they must maintain the quarantine. Sometimes they are indifferent about it, but I believe that exactly such testing will demonstrate to them that it is not possible to underestimate this situation. The municipality has allocated room for any eventual quarantine," said Mayor Jana Skokanová.

The testing for COVID-19 was launched on Friday by the Government in 33 selected municipalities inhabited mostly by Romani people and will continue until 9 April. "This is not about testing en masse, this is just about testing those who have a so-called travel itinerary, which means that they are returnees who have been logged during the last 14 days," explained the Plenipotentiary previously in an interview for ROMEA TV.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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