In December, just before the holidays, the Municipality of Budapest offered a total of 7500 free rapid tests to citizens over 18 possessing a residence card.
6523 people showed up at testing points that were set up in four different locations around the city (Városháza Park, Széna tér, Keleti Railway Station and Kelenföld Railway Station). 166 tests were required to be repeated, and a total of 41 people tested positive for coronavirus. This indicates an infection rate of 0.62%, however – as the participants of the testing were also informed – a negative test result does not mean a 100% certainty that the person tested is not infected.
At the end of the testing, volunteers of the municipality asked the participants about how satisfied they were with the service provided. 94% of survey participants found the testing very useful, and only 6% said the contrary. An overwhelming majority of applicants were satisfied with organization of the entire testing procedure. 90% of the respondents would recommend the testing to others, the majority also rated the application process simple and straight forward. Mass testing is the biggest weapon against the spread of the coronavirus as long as there is no vaccine available to all.
The municipality organized this mass testing of the local population before the holidays in order to identify and isolate infected asymptomatic people and make sure they would not pass the disease on to their loved ones on the occasion of family events during the holidays.