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October 11, 2021 2:43 pm

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Express testing will help to quickly identify the sources of the virus and interrupt the chain of its spread.

Muscovites now have the opportunity to pass free rapid test for antigen to COVID-19. This can be done in 10 public service centers and 10 shopping centers. This will allow you to break the chain of spreading the virus at the earliest possible stage. The operational headquarters for control and monitoring of the situation with coronavirus in Moscow explains how this procedure is organized in the city.

Patients with ARVI symptoms are already do rapid tests for antigen to coronavirus. Why did you decide to organize testing in public places?

Rapid coronavirus antigen tests are a screening method that is used all over the world. It is used for events and at home – tests are sold in pharmacies. In 15 minutes, such a test provides an answer to the question of whether infection with COVID-19 is likely or not. If so, this is a signal for additional diagnostics. If not, this is a guarantee of the absence of infection – you can lead a normal life.

Since the beginning of July, an experiment has been taking place in the capital, during which the results of an express test and PCR testing have been compared. Rapid tests showed effectiveness in 85 percent of cases, false-positive tests were only two percent. It was precisely because of the speed and efficiency that it was decided to introduce rapid testing for patients with ARVI symptoms. More than 120 thousand tests have already been carried out for both ARVI patients and people living with them. A positive result in 20 thousand cases made it possible to quickly begin treatment and prevent the development of a severe course of coronavirus.

The result is no longer necessary to wait for several days – it is visible immediately. The doctor can immediately dispense the medicine and prescribe treatment. This is critically important in the case of coronavirus, which for many passes quickly and sharply worsens. Making express tests is easier and psychologically: you don’t have to wait long and worry. They inspire more confidence in the patient, since the result appears right before the eyes, and not somewhere in the laboratory.

In addition, they relieve fear for the health of relatives. If the result is positive, the test will be performed on everyone in the house. And the express test also reduces the burden on doctors – they do not need to come to the patient in a few days to dispense medications.

Test points were located in places of attraction for people – you can pass the test on the go, while receiving government services or shopping.

Socially responsible citizens now have a self-test tool for COVID-19. It can be used, for example, before traveling to an elderly relative. The city makes it possible to do this quickly, free of charge and in a comfortable environment.

Who is the screening target, who will be invited first? How is the process organized?

Anyone of any age can take the test. You need to take your passport or birth certificate for children with you. To make the place of express testing easy to find, clear navigation was made at all points. In the halls, guests of shopping centers or public service centers are invited to take tests.

In the My Documents office, a person can take a test while he is waiting for a specialist’s appointment. To do this, he can go to the administrator and inform about his desire. He will be asked to fill out an information consent form and be tested. It is organized right in the hall so as not to waste extra time.

After taking a smear, you can continue to draw up documents. And in 15 minutes the result will be ready at the reception.

What happens if the rapid test is positive? Will everyone who was nearby at that time be considered contact?

In case of a positive result, the townspeople will be asked to go into a separate room, where the health worker will take a PCR test. You can also take masks and gloves there. The person will be asked to go home immediately, minimizing contact if possible, for example by taxi. He will need to sign a consent to stay at home before receiving the PCR result.

Within a day, the result will be sent to SMS, and will also be displayed in the electronic medical record. If it is positive, the case will be confirmed. A doctor from a polyclinic will come to the patient’s home, prescribe treatment and give out the necessary medications. Upon receiving a negative PCR test and in the absence of symptoms of the disease, the person will be considered healthy and he will no longer need to stay at home.

Rapid test is a screening method. It shows that a person can potentially be a carrier of the virus. The fact of the disease is confirmed by the doctor after receiving the PCR result. Therefore, all those who were in the same space with a person whose test showed a positive result will not be considered contact. In addition, in public spaces, sanitary safety is strictly monitored and surfaces are constantly disinfected.

Testing begins at two dozen points. Why are they chosen? Will the network of testing points be expanded?

Several parameters were taken into account when choosing points. The main thing is high cross-country ability and convenience for residents. The second is dispersal across Moscow. Now express testing covers most of the districts of the capital. The selected locations include six My Documents flagship centers and four regional offices. Express testing points are also open in the very center of Moscow – in GUM and TSUM.

How likely is it that Moscow will return to the previous restrictions if the morbidity dynamics deteriorate?

Now the incidence in the city is growing. The number of hospitalizations in the past two weeks has doubled, and the number of cases – by one and a half times. In such a situation, the main task is to identify as quickly as possible those who can become the source of the virus. By interrupting its distribution chain, severe restrictions can be postponed or avoided altogether. This will allow not to deprive Muscovites of their usual way of life and not harm the city’s economy. Taking a rapid test is an example of a gentle but effective way to break the COVID-19 chain.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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