Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - With 'lollipops', Austria tests toddlers for virus



With 'lollipops', Austria tests toddlers for virus

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Medical workers follow as pre-school boy uses a newly developed, lollipop-shaped Covid-19 test in Vienna, Austria on April 28, 2021. AFP

With 'lollipops', Austria tests toddlers for virus

A newly developed, lollipop-shaped coronavirus test is being rolled out in some of Austria's kindergartens as an alternative for toddlers who don't take well to throat or nose swabs.

Students – a little shy – lined up in one Vienna kindergarten this week to be tested, with the exercise open to the media.

Though children are exempt from many virus measures, there are fears that with schools and kindergartens reopening, the more contagious variant that emerged in Britain and is dominant in several EU countries could spread more widely among young people and children.

This could contribute to another surge in cases and threaten progress with vaccination campaigns.

To "keep track of the infections" and to offer a "sensible alternative to other testing options," Austria's Burgenland province has already ordered 35,000 lollipop tests, a spokesperson for the regional government told AFP.

This follows the success of a pilot project with children in some kindergarten and day-care centres.

Letters have been sent to parents informing them that the Burgenland state will provide each child with three free tests per week.

The instructions read as follows: "Put the test in the mouth, suck for 90 seconds, dip the test in the container, wait 15 minutes, check the result."

After initial disappointment that the tests lacked the bright colours and the sweet taste of a real lollipop, instead resembling "an oversized cotton swab", father and graphic designer Dominik Krotschek says that his three-year-old has now taken well to the tests.

"It's unproblematic -- we just did it again today and it worked well," Krotschek told AFP.

"I think it makes sense to have stricter controls in the educational sector," he said.

The tests were invented by Manuela Foedinger, who leads the laboratory at Vienna's Kaiser-Franz-Joseph hospital and is credited with pioneering a similarly simple-to-use gargle test that is now widely used across the nation of 8.9 million.

When her invention was recognised by the city of Vienna last year, the mayor of Vienna asked what could be done to test toddlers and Foedinger replied: "I have an idea for that, too."

In Vienna, Foedinger is now conducting a study with children between the ages of one and six across five kindergartens to show just how accurate the test results are and help decide whether lollipop tests can be deployed more broadly, a spokesperson said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF