Coronavirus in Romania: Over 10,000 Bucharest residents will be tested for Covid-19 as part of a study
A sample of 10,500 people living in Bucharest will be tested for the new coronavirus (Covid-19) as part of a study to detect the infected persons and prevent the severe forms of the disease, according to the manager of the Matei Bals Institute of Infectious Diseases in Bucharest, Dr. Adrian Streinu-Cercel. He said the new health minister Nelu Tataru has authorized the study, which has scientific value.
The announcement of this study comes one day after health minister Victor Costache said that all of Bucharest's residents would be tested for Covid-19. Costache resigned the next morning.
“We must not allow people to get sick. We must not only prepare our hospitals, but we also must make sure that people do not get sick. In order for them not to get sick, we need to know where this virus is currently circulating and where it has been circulating. This is the reason why we make this scientific evaluation,” Streinu-Cercel said in a press statement, quoted by Agerpres.
Such screening is needed because about 80% of the infected people develop mild or moderate forms of the disease, which can pass unnoticed at home, and those infected can spread the virus to others, who may develop more serious forms of the disease.
“We will apply two types of tests: one type of rapid test for antibody detection - this is needed to see how many people have already had the SARS Cov-2 infection – and the rapid antigen test to tell us the presence of the virus at this point in time,” Streinu-Cercel explained. “We will not take people back and forth to the hospital, but we will treat them at home, so as to close outbreaks where they exist,” he said.
The sample of those to be tested will be determined by statisticians in the next two days. People selected to be tested can refuse, but will thus miss an opportunity to find out if they are infected or not, the head of the Matei Bals Institute said.
Harvesting will be done in the street, outside the house, and the results will be obtained in 15-30 minutes and will be transmitted by SMS to the respective persons. Those to be tested will be announced by the president of the owners’ association or by the local police officers. The Bucharest City Hall has put a fleet of electric cars at the disposal of the research teams that will carry out the testing.
“In the context in which we find one or two persons in a building section, the whole section will enter into a so-called quarantine and they will be assisted including by the medical corps. The respective buildings will be decontaminated from top to bottom, so we can keep things under control. (...) When we find a positive person, we quarantine the whole area, because everyone is potentially infected with this virus. We do tests, we put them in quarantine for 14 days, during which time they will receive social support services from the town hall, I suppose, or to be decided, and we will do our job as doctors, and on the 14th day we will retest the respective persons,” explained Streinu-Cercel.
The medical personnel and the patients in hospitals will also be tested, according to Streinu-Cercel.
Bucharest currently has 188 confirmed Covid-19 infection cases, most of which are in District 2 (116 cases), the manager of the Matei Bals Institute said.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Alexandru Busca)