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Polish resort offers guests free coronavirus tests as…

By Malgorzata Wojtunik and Joanna Plucinska

WARSAW, Aug 13 – A Polish holiday resort is offering free coronavirus tests to guests as cases spike nationally.

In the past week, daily case numbers have exceeded 800 on three occasions, breaking records for Poland.

Zawiaty, a resort in the northern region of Kaszuby, decided to hire Geneme, a private genetic testing company, to help it administer the tests every Saturday.

“Security is incredibly important right now. These are mostly our regular guests, so it matters a lot to us to ensure their trust and to safeguard them as best as we can,” the director of the resort, Anna Kreft, told Reuters.

As guests drive up, they are given a test kit by staff. They then administer the test swab themselves under the supervision of a hotel worker trained by Geneme. Results are processed within an hour with on-site lab equipment.

Guests are retested throughout their stay.

But virologist Wlodzimierz Gut said that to be effective, such tests should be carried out by lab professionals “with full training to do molecular tests”, not by hotel workers or the patients themselves.

He told Reuters that molecular tests usually only detect the virus once it has been in a person for five or six days and are hardly foolproof.

“To put it frankly, someone has lost their mind through fear,” Gut said.

Geneme insists the tests are safe, fast and effective. It would prefer having a designated person responsible for administering swabs, but the decision lies with the hotel, it said.

“We provide full cooperation and assistance in organising the whole process to ensure that it has good results and that there are no mistakes,” said Kasjan Szemiako, Geneme’s Chief Technology Officer.

(Reporting by Malgorzata Wojtunik and Joanna Plucinska; Writing by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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