A new sampling point for tests on COVID-19 was opened today by the Prague City Hall in cooperation with the Prague Municipal Polyclinic and the Czech Red Cross on Mariánské náměstí.
The sampling point also offers PCR tests from saliva, which are less invasive and more affordable. Self-payers will pay CZK 620.
“It is about half the price of regular PCR tests,” said David Doležil, the director of the Municipal Polyclinic in Prague.
“Our goal was to make testing as easy as possible for citizens, this is why we also chose Mariánské náměstí as it is the city center,” said Milena Johnová, Prague councilor for social affairs.
“For antigen tests, the slots are opened every five minutes. As for the PCR test, it is six minutes for self-payers and three minutes for insurance companies,” explained Doležil.
The collection point will be open on weekdays from 08:00 to 15:30. According to Doležil, the capacity of the sampling point is now about 170 tests per day.
Saliva-based testing offers an improvement over the standard nasopharyngeal swab because people can collect their own samples with minimal discomfort—simply spit into a sterile tube and mail it to a lab for processing.
The results, as in the case of the nasopharyngeal PCR test, are delivered within 24 hours.
According to data on the website of the Ministry of Health, there are 80 sampling points in Prague. PCR saliva tests also offered at the Bulovka University Hospital, but in this case, the price is CZK 1510.
Rapid saliva tests have been approved in the UK, France, and Germany.
Because they are less invasive and uncomfortable than the widespread nasal swab tests, rapid saliva tests are viewed as particularly useful in schools to save pupils from any discomfort.