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11 May 2020

Belarus receives 100,000 COVID-19 rapid tests

Belarus receives 100,000 COVID-19 rapid tests
Eduard Valchuk

MINSK, 11 May (BelTA) – Belarus has received 100,000 rapid tests for detecting COVID-19 antibodies, Chief Doctor of the National Emergences Center Eduard Valchuk told journalists on 11 May, BelTA has learned.

“On Saturday, a batch of test kits arrived in Belarus from China. These rapid tests are used for detecting COVID-19 antibodies in the blood. They were purchased with the funds donated by Belarusians to the Healthcare Ministry,” Eduard Valchuk said.

All testing kits will be distributed among healthcare facilities. “Deliveries have already begun. Brest Oblast received its part on Sunday. The remaining rapid tests will be handed out today. This batch of tests is meant to diagnose the disease during its progression and test for past infecion,” the chief doctor noted.

Eduard Valchuk stressed that rapid tests have been distributed taking into account the number of cases in the Belarusian regions and the city of Minsk. “We have allocated tests in view of the current demand, in order to reduce the workload of the main laboratories involved in COVID-19 testing,” he added.

The press service of the Healthcare Ministry noted that the city of Minsk should receive 20,000 rapid tests, Vitebsk Oblast and Brest Oblast – 11,000 each, Gomel Oblast, Grodno Oblast, and Mogilev Oblast – 10,000 each. Minsk Oblast was among the first regions to get its 13,000 rapid tests and is already delivering it to hospitals. Moreover, 10,000 testing kits were sent to healthcare facilities that are not part of the Healthcare Ministry system.

Plans are in place to use rapid tests only in healthcare institutions for now. Belarus expects additional supplies next week, after which testing will be available for everyone in the country. Rapid tests detect the presence of antibodies. In the course of the disease, they show the presence of immunoglobulins M that indicate an active infection process. If a person has recently recovered from the disease, they have immunoglobulins G. If someone suspects that they had a mild form of the disease, they will be able to undergo testing to confirm this.

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