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Pilot project for testing 10,500 people in Bucharest for the novel coronavirus

Manager of the “Matei Bals” Infectious Diseases Institute Adrian Streinu-Cercel has announced that a pilot project for testing 10,500 persons for the novel coronavirus will start in Bucharest within a scientific study to detect those infected with SARS CoV-2 virus, from the desire to thus prevent the severe forms of illness.

Streinu-Cercel mentioned that, for a population of approximately 2 million inhabitants, the testing of 9,558 persons is necessary, with a correction of 10% being applied to this number. He also stated that the sample can be resized along the way. In this regard, Streinu-Cercel referred to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, which asked that testing be conducted to detect COVID 19. The manager of the “Matei Bals” Institute showed that it is necessary to test the medical staff and patients, but also the population, in order to know if “it’s healthy, if it is currently infected or went through the infection” with this virus, these three pieces of information completely changing how this pandemic is approached in the near future.

“80% are mild and medium forms of illness. The majority of these forms wear out at home (…), but it also infects others around the respective area, which is why I have to go from the hospital to the person’s house, to see what is going on there, to run a test and, if it comes positive, I also have to treat him and quarantine him for the next 14 days at home,” he said, according to Agerpres.

Streinu-Cercel underscored that, in lack of screening, the mild forms can go undetected, generating subsequent forms of severe infections. He also mentioned that the Minister of Health approved this project and stressed that this is a study with “scientific value,” not a simple testing. At the same time, he mentioned that in Bucharest there are 188 people diagnosed positively, of whom 116 in District 2; 6 in District 3; 11 in District 4; 3 in District 5; 14 in District 6; 24 in District 1.

Streinu-Cercel said that the testing will also be conducted depending on the categories of age.

“We will run two types of tests. One type of rapid test for detecting antibodies – and we currently need this rapid tests to see how many people have already gone through the infection with this SARS COV 2. And one of current stringency, namely a rapid antigen test, which can tell us the presence of the virus in circulation, at this time. (…),” he said.

Regarding the selection of the 10,500 people, he mentioned that this would be done by statisticians and that the sampling would be completed in approximately two days. He showed that people can refuse testing, but, this way, they miss the chance to find out if they are infected or not.

The specimen will be taken on the street, outside home, and the results will come out in 15-30 minutes and they will be sent through SMS to the respective persons.

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