RIGA - Rapid saliva tests for Covid-19 are not reliable enough, so it would be better if people who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 not to use the result of such a test as a basis, for example, to receive a service, said Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) in an interview with TV3 this morning.
Referring to the relatively low accuracy of the rapid saliva tests, the Prime Minister pointed out to an epidemiologist's statement that they were "very inaccurate". "There is a very high probability that they are wrong," Karins said about the rapid saliva tests.
Therefore, he believes that it would be better for an unvaccinated person to receive certain services only with a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
Karins admitted that, in his opinion, Latvia should follow the example of Lithuania and in the near future introduce the possibility to receive many services only for persons who have a valid Covid-19 certificate. "I think this is the direction we need to look at. Lithuania is ahead of us in terms of infection rates, hospitalization and mortality. It seems like a logical step they have taken. I think it is also the direction we will be going," the prime minister pointed out.
As reported, the Ministry of Economics offers to allow people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 to receive services if they have passed rapid saliva tests at the entrance, Minister of Economics Janis Vitenbergs told Latvian Radio yesterday morning.
LETA also reported, as the incidence of Covid-19 increases, more and more services will be available in one of the so-called safety modes - green or yellow. In the green mode, only vaccinated or persons who have recovered from Covid-19 people will be able to receive services, in the yellow mode - persons who have taken Covid-19 tests.
The ministry is calling for services to be made more accessible, allowing for use of rapid saliva tests in the yellow mode. They should be handed over to people at the entrance to shops or other places where services are provided.
According to the minister, the price of such a test is about 5-6 euros, and the recipient of the service would have to pay for it. However, it would be significantly cheaper than the approximately EUR 30 currently being charged for testing in laboratories.
Vitenbergs pointed out that other European countries, such as Germany and Austria, are also introducing such a procedure.
The minister emphasized that it was important that parents with children under the age of 12, who cannot receive the Covid-19 vaccine, are not excluded from receiving services.