Citizens’ concern over the new coronavirus and its health risks has intensified, as the disease is spreading at rapid rate across Europe, while the first death was confirmed in Greece. Many Greeks are in search for ways to protect themselves and get a medical diagnosis about whether they have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2.
The main condition to raise suspicions that someone might have been exposed is to have been in contact with a person who has recently travelled to an endemic area (China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Iran and North Italy) who has either been infected with the virus, while being in the high risk groups.
The procedure to test for the new coronavirus is as follows:
a) Call the National Public Health Organization in Greece (EOPY) (1135 & 210-5212504) and report your travel or contact history and any alarming symptoms (nasal runny nose, dry cough, fever, difficulty breathing, joint pain, muscle pain, etc.) and receive instructions for referral to any of the 15 reference hospitals:
– 1st Health Authority-Attica (YPE): Sotiria Thoracic Diseases Hospital of Athens, Alternative: Evangelismos Hospital
– 2nd Health Authority-Attica, Main: Attikon University Hospital, Thriasio General Hospital of Elefsina
– 3rd and 4th Health Authority: Main: AHEPA University Hospital, Alternative: University Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Prefecture General Hospital of Ptolemaida “Bodosakeio”
– 5th Health Authority: Main: University General Hospital of Larisa [UGHL], Alternative: General Hospital of Lamia
– 6th Health Authority: Main: General University Hospital of Patras, Alternative: University Hospital of Ioannina
– 7th Health Authority: Main: University General Hospital of Heraklion, Alternative: Chania General Hospital of St. George
– “Aghia Sofia” General Children’s Hospital
– Children’s Hospital “P. & A. Kyriakou”
– Penteli Children’s Hospital
The sample taken in case you are evaluated as a suspected case of coronavirus is sent to one of the reference laboratories (operating at the Pasteur Institute and at EKPA, AUTH, PAGNI, PGNP in Rio, Atticon Hospital and PGNTH). The samples are processed first to give the result as soon as possible.
The cost of the test for the new coronavirus ranges from 120 euros (without a doctor’s visit) and can reach as much as 300 euros (including the cost of a doctor’s visit). Also, a simple flu test starts at € 10 (without a doctor visit) and can reach up to € 70 (with a doctor visit).
The timing of the result in the public and private sectors varies widely, depending on the volume of samples received by each laboratory. At best, the result can last for 5-6 hours and may not exceed 7 hours.