14 May 2020 16:19

Moscow shifts to new Covid-19 testing level, ELISA tests - Sobyanin

MOSCOW. May 14 (Interfax) - The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, also known as ELISA, will increase the daily number of coronavirus tests carried out in Moscow to 100,000, or even 200,000, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said on Thursday.

"We have a new objective today: we need to achieve a new level of quality and quantity of testing using ELISA systems. Moscow is technically capable of increasing the scale of ELISA diagnostics to 100,000 tests per day," Sobyanin said at a meeting with members of the Moscow Clinical Committee for Covid-19.

The Moscow healthcare system will technically able to increase the daily number of tests to 200,000 in the future, he said.

"Moscow already leads cities of the world in terms of testing. The massive implementation of ELISA diagnostics in Moscow will make its leadership absolute," Sobyanin said.

Moscow has been experimenting with ELISA testing and has been adjusting equipment in the past two weeks, he said.

"The program will kick off this week. Later this week, 30 polyclinics will begin taking blood samples from Muscovites for screening purposes. Up to 70,000 Muscovites will be invited weekly to visit a polyclinic and take an ELISA test," Sobyanin said.

The city will also be developing PCR diagnostic of coronavirus, he said

ELISA diagnostics will be carried out at city enterprises and organizations which have been compelled to regularly check their employees for coronavirus, Sobyanin said. These include healthcare facilities, housing and public utility services, and law enforcement agencies, he said.

Sobyanin also said he had agreed with Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov on starting ELISA diagnostic in the Moscow region.

"It's our goal not to conceal anything and not to mix these processes, but to find people who have recovered from coronavirus and developed the relevant immunity in the fastest and most efficient way," he said.

This will help develop the tactics and strategies of the city healthcare system and will help with making the right decisions on the restrictive measures undertaken in Moscow, Sobyanin said.

The herd immunity research program, which Moscow is starting up, implies massive screening of city residents for coronavirus antibodies.