Moscow doubles COVID-19 testing

Moscow doubles COVID-19 testing
Photo: Press Service of Moscow Mayor and the Moscow Government. Maxim Mishin
Starting 30 April, the city has doubled coronavirus laboratory testing up to 40,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted per day.

In the past week, Moscow specialists have increased the number of COVID-19 diagnostic tests to promptly detect patients and provide them with medical assistance. Moscow has made great advances in this field, which has put it among the world's top cities in this regard, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote in his blog.     

"The screening tests among various groups of people have shown that the actual number of COVID-19 cases amounts to only 2 percent of Moscow's total population, which is the lowest figure among large cities struck by the pandemic. We have managed to curb the spread of the virus thanks to Moscow residents’ discipline and support of self-isolation measures," the mayor emphasised.

In the past weeks, Moscow outpatient clinics have boosted their CT scan capabilities to diagnose patients with the coronavirus. To this end, 45 outpatient centres have been launched operating 24/7, as well as a radiology diagnostic reference centre, and an AI technology system for detecting COVID-19.

The city has created a coordinated system for battling the coronavirus, with all healthcare system players involved in the effort to promptly diagnose COVID-19 and provide medical aid regardless of their functions and departmental affiliation, ranging from federal, city and private clinics to ambulances, labs, outpatient clinics and hospitals.

Active efforts by the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) have resulted in greater capabilities of federal laboratories. City labs have also expanded their functionality by joining forces with private labs, which has allowed for increasing testing numbers fivefold compared to last month. Also, starting 30 April, the city has doubled coronavirus lab testing to 40,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests conducted per day.

The capacities of reference centres for COVID-19 tests verification has doubled as well. This has allowed for a prompt analysis and validation of the data accumulated during the previous days. Also, in the past ten days, the number of rapid antibody tests for COVID-19 has increased tenfold.

"We have managed to almost double the COVID-19 detection, which has put Moscow among the world's leading cities in this regard. This is a great advantage as it makes it possible to curb the spread of the infection at early stages and promptly provide medical assistance to those who have fallen ill," Sergei Sobyanin emphasised.

This has resulted in slowing the growth of severe COVID-19 cases as opposed to what might have been otherwise in a worse case scenario, the mayor said.

Currently, all patients with pneumonia and those living with confirmed COVID-19 patients are tested for the coronavirus. In addition, biomaterials for coronavirus tests are also taken from those with manifestations of acute respiratory infection. Work is underway in the city to conduct tests among healthcare and social workers, as well as police officers and workers of housing and utility services and the transport sector – that is, all those who come into contact with large numbers of people.  

COVID-19: official information