As the first country in the world, Slovakia implemented and repeated mass rapid antigen testing. A new paper published ONLINE FIRST OPEN ACCESS in the Journal of Population Economics has shown that this had reduced infections substantially.
by Martin Kahanec, Lukáš Lafférs & Bernhard Schmidpeter
Author Abstract: In the absence of effective vaccination, mass testing and quarantining of positive cases and their contacts could help to mitigate pandemics and allow economies to stay open. We investigate the effects of repeated mass testing on the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, using data from the first ever nationwide rapid antigen testing implemented in Slovakia in autumn 2020. After the first round of testing, only districts above an ex ante unknown threshold of test positivity were re-tested. Comparing districts above and below the threshold, we provide evidence that repeated mass antigen testing can temporarily reduce the number of new infections. Our results suggest that mass testing coupled with the quarantining of positive cases and their contacts could be an effective tool in mitigating pandemics. For lasting effects, re-testing at regular intervals would likely be necessary.
Featured image: Mufid-Majnun-on-Unsplash
Journal of Population Economics
Access to the recently published Volume 34, Issue 3, July 2021.
LEAD ARTICLE OF ISSUE 3, 2021:
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by Maxim Ananyev, Michael Poyker and Yuan Tian
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