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Covid-19 mass screening: first results show 14% of tested Russians have coronavirus antibodies

Covid-19 mass screening: first results show 14% of tested Russians have coronavirus antibodies
After the first few days of private clinic antibody testing in Russia, one national chain has revealed that at least 14% of the 40,000 people who took the test in their laboratory received a positive result for SARS-CoV-2.

Invitro, the chain who conducted the tests, began mass testing for Covid-19 antibodies on May 18, using their entire network, which comprises almost 1,500 medical offices. Each test costs 950 rubles ($13), with an extra 200-300 rubles ($3-4) charged for the process of taking the sample. The company is accepting anyone who wants to be tested, apart from those displaying symptoms of an acute respiratory viral infection.

“A positive result indicating the formation of an immune response was detected in 14% of patients. Moreover, in just the first four days, more than 40,000 people were tested for [coronavirus antibodies],” the company’s press service said.

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The presence of specific antibodies in the blood serum means a person has already been exposed to an infection and has developed immunity, the company explained.

According to Invitro, 47% of those tested were from Moscow or the Moscow Region, and 14.6% were in the Northwestern Federal District, where Saint Petersburg is located. In the future, Invitro plans to launch a ‘Covid Index’ on its website, which would display data by city, gender, and age.

In their press release, Invitro explained that antibody testing can provide a more reliable indication of the extent of the pandemic.

On May 15, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced that the capital city would be rolling out a vast random screening program. According to the mayor, mass testing will enable the government to make more informed decisions about anti-coronavirus measures.

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