Bucharest City Hall launches COVID-19 testing program for 11,000 volunteers
Bucharest residents can volunteer to get tested for the new coronavirus (COVID-19) within a free campaign of the Bucharest City Hall. They can register on the online platform testampentrubucuresti.assmb.ro starting Friday, May 22, at 13:00, according to Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea.
"In May, we proposed this project through which 11,000 Bucharest residents can benefit from free testing for infection with the new coronavirus. The capital thus joins other major European metropolises that already apply the principle of extensive testing, also promoted by the World Health Organization," Firea said, adding that Real-Time PCR tests will be used in this project.
Bucharest City Hall will cover testing costs of RON 200 for each volunteer. Bucharest residents who are asymptomatic can join the campaign and register on the dedicated online platform.
Those who fill out the necessary forms on the platform and are accepted in the program will receive a registration number and a confirmation e-mail, and then they will have to wait to be contacted for the testing. There will be a dedicated call center for the Bucharesters enrolled in the program.
Mayor Gabriela Firea also announced that another testing campaign would be launched next week. A total of 10,500 Bucharesters will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies within this project, which will indicate people who have developed an immune response to the new coronavirus infection.
The project to test Bucharest's population for COVID-19 first came into public attention at the end of March. At that time, the former health minister Victor Costache said that all of Bucharest's residents would be tested, door to door. His statement was widely debated as Romania could process less than 2,000 tests per day at that time. Shortly after that, Costache resigned.
Then, the head of the Matei Bals Institute for Infectious Diseases in Bucharest, Dr. Adrian Steinu Cercel, said that about 10,000 Bucharesters would be tested as part of a scientific study. However, the Health Ministry said at that time that it didn't endorse such a study or pay for it.
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