Greece will limit the pricing private clinics can charge for coronavirus tests, the country’s government said Friday.
“The government from the start has set as an absolute priority the protection of public health, and citizens’ access,” said Commerce and Consumer Protection Secretary General Panagiotis.
The price limits would be 40 euros for PCR tests and 10 euros for rapid antigen tests.
Private medical clinics and hospitals had been charging about 70-120 euros for PCR tests and around 40 euros for the rapid tests.
The government from the start has set as an absolute priority the protection of public health, and citizens’ access to this. Both are non-negotiable for us,” Stamboulidis said during a regular government briefing on the course of the pandemic.
A draft bill will put forward to parliament in coming days to allow for the set limits, he said.
Stamboulis said that while the Greek government supports “practices of healthy competition,” it has an obligation to intervene at a time when most of the retail sector and large segments of the economy are shut due to a coronavirus-related lockdown.
Many individuals and businesses are using virus tests as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19, he said.
Greece’s health authorities announced on Friday 2013 new coronavirus cases and 101 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The number of intubated Covid-19 patients is at 607, i.e. one less than on Thursday, however this information does not mean much, as it is not known how many of the latest fatalities were intubated in hospitals across the country.
The total cases exceeded 100,000 and reached 101,287 on November 27.
The coronavirus has claimed so far 2,012 lives.With average daily deaths at 100 since last weekend, Greece is on top of the worldwide list with daily new confirmed Covid-19 deaths per million people.
Among the latest fatalities is a 37-year-old man in northern Greece. He had no underlying health issues. He was tested positive on Thursday. Speaking to media, relatives and friends said that he complained about breathing problems, but the health authorities’ advice was that he would stay at home. He died on Friday morning.
Despite the decrease of daily reported cases, deaths are some 100 per day since November 21st.
Among the latest fatalities are: one from age group 18-39 and 14 from age group 40-64.
Also one of the 3 patients airlifted from Drama to Athens on Thursday, died today.