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06 May 2020, 11:18

Belarus 2nd in number of COVID-19 tests in CIS

MINSK, 6 May (BelTA) – Belarus goes second in the number of COVID-19 tests performed in the CIS, deputy chief physician of Belarus' National Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health Irina Glinskaya said in an interview to the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA has learned.

“We go second in the number of tests conducted in the CIS countries after the Russian Federation. We are 37th worldwide. On the one hand, this is very good, but the figure without analysis will tell us little. We are focused on testing people who are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. These are first-level contacts, individuals with pneumonia, other groups. We are following a clear, consistent lab diagnostic strategy. I would like to say that the targeted strategy helps us to identify the maximum number of cases with the optimal number of tests performed, and, most importantly, to carry out activities to stem further spread of the disease,” Irina Glinskaya said.

The deputy chief doctor also touched upon the use of rapid antibody tests. According to Irina Glinskaya, the first batch has been received and already tested. “We have already seen how rapid tests work both in the laboratory and the hospital. This week, we expect the delivery of a new batch. We will use them in our laboratory diagnostics along with PCR tests. Of course, it is worth considering the use of these tests, but probably later on in order to determine the immunity stress level, in order to understand how many people have been exposed to the virus and for how long they remain immune to the disease,” she added.

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