Russian scientists develop highly accurate test for novel coronavirus

10:45, 31 March

Photo: Alexander Pogozhev/TASS

The Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Russia’s sanitary watchdog Rospotrebnadzor has created a highly accurate test to detect the novel coronavirus infection in humans, the governmental agency said on its website on Tuesday.

"The testing kit has successfully passed clinical trials and was registered for use in the Russian Federation <…> on March 25, 2020," Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement.

"The new test meets all modern requirements for accuracy and specificity, allowing not only to detect SARS-CoV-2, but also to differentiate it from other SARS-Cov-type viruses and MERS-Cov," the statement reads.

In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 160 countries, including Russia.

The WHO on March 11 declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. As of now, more than 720,000 people have been infected around the world and over 35,000 have died. Russia has 1,836 cases of the infection, with nine deaths. The Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public informed about the coronavirus situation.

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