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Oct 21, 2021
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Communist Party: Free PCR Tests Will Help Fight Coronavirus

Communist Party: Free PCR Tests Will Help Fight Coronavirus

Photo: AP / TASS

The state should provide Russians with free PCR testing at the expense of the federal budget. Such a proposal is a State Duma deputy from the Communist PartyAlexey Kurinny sent to the Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, head of the federal operational headquarters for the fight against coronavirus.

According to the deputy, free testing is needed for federal funds at enterprises and organizations, as well as mandatory free testing of people when the first signs of SARS appear, of which up to 50% are infected with coronavirus.

Expansion of PCR testing will allow interrupting the chains of spread of viral infection, significantly reducing the incidence and mortality from COVID-19, reducing the cost of treating patients, as well as reducing the cost of the tests themselves through centralized procurement, according to the State Duma.

The deputy’s proposal is consistent with the position of the Russian president. “While testing is slow,” lamented Vladimir Putin… – They tested a person – he goes if he is sick, he does not know that he is sick, for many it does not manifest itself in any way at the beginning of the disease … contact persons appear … Testing needs to be improved and increased. “

Now diagnostics at enterprises is carried out at the expense of the employer, and in public hospitals – at the expense of regional budgets, including additional funds allocated for the pandemic. However, the regions for the most part are in no hurry to introduce free testing. The company “Invitro” declined to comment on the topic.

International experience speaks, rather, in favor of free tests. So, in the Czech Republic, the number of infections decreased four times after citizens were given the opportunity to do two PCR and four antigen tests per month for free. In the United States, the law on free tests was passed in the spring of 2020.

Meanwhile, over the past day in Russia, 1,036 people died from coronavirus (another record!), 36.3 thousand new infections were registered. It is especially alarming that among the cases of about 12-13% of children. Will the non-working week announced by the authorities from October 30 to November 7 help to bring down the wave?

Some details of mass PCR testing at the expense of the state “SP” explained the author of the initiative – Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Health Protection, Doctor Alexei Kurinny

– In commercial structures, the price of a PCR test ranges from 1.5 to 2 thousand rubles. And its real price is 300-400 rubles. Therefore, with mass public procurement, it will be just like that. Due to the volume of purchases and government control, this can be done much cheaper.

“SP”: – Will mass testing have an effect when people will do it in an organized way?

– According to calculations, a quarter of industrial enterprises in the Russian Federation need this measure.

“SP”: – Pandemics are already two years old. It is strange that the government did not organize free testing from the very beginning …

– Apparently, they were restrained by the need to bear the costs and the hope that it might resolve itself. It did not dissolve. On the contrary, the situation now threatens to become unmanageable.

“SP”: – The Ministry of Finance can say now that there is no money. And your initiative may simply be ignored …

– Next week or in a week, a report from the headquarters about its work is planned. And we will ask questions on this topic.

Professor of the Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology named after N.F. Gamaleya, Doctor of Medical Sciences Anatoly Altshtein recalled that in addition to PCR tests, the state can also pay from the budget for express methods for detecting coronavirus infection.

– PCR tests, as far as I know, are done here for free (not for everyone – Auth.). Its result can be obtained the next day and this method is more accurate. At the same time, now they also use an accelerated diagnostic method based on the detection of a viral antigen. Commercial companies make it and it costs money. This kind of testing, of course, helps to monitor the development of the epidemic, to take some measures. However, this is only part of the fight against the epidemic.

Rector of the Higher School of Health Organization and Management, Doctor of Medical Sciences Guzel Ulumbekova noted that the proposal to expand testing is in line with the world’s best practices in the fight against coronavirus.

– Absolutely correct proposal. Early detection by rapid tests allows you to track asymptomatic cases and, accordingly, the transmission of infection in the population.

“SP”: – For two years of the pandemic it was possible to turn around like this …

– We didn’t get our bearings right away. And besides, there were no high-quality rapid tests that give an answer in 20 minutes. Mass testing requires a lot of tests, and money is needed both for drugs and other things. After all, you need to provide schools, medical organizations, public areas where people gather etc.

Even in the United States, where the decision was made to carry out mass rapid testing in schools and money was specially allocated for this, there was not enough capacity to immediately meet all the needs. Based on the results of this mass testing, a study has already been done, which showed that where it was introduced, the spread of coronavirus is indeed decreasing.

– This is a way out, because not all of us are vaccinated, – says Director of the Moscow Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology named after I.I. G. N. Gabrichevsky, Doctor of Biological Sciences Svetlana Kombarova

– Now doctors regularly take smears and, if they find a viral infection, do not go to work. Expansion of testing will make it possible to exclude from work, for example, teachers or schoolchildren who are carriers of the coronavirus. This will restrict the circulation of the virus. This is important for schools, because children are not vaccinated at all.

“SP”: – Just today, the authorities recommended that schools declare vacations during non-working days in November …

Right. So it will be calmer with the increase in the incidence among children, which is now observed. Moreover, the children began to develop serious complications, even if they were not seriously ill. By vaccinating adults, we protect our own children.

“SP”: – The refusal of a significant part of society to be vaccinated is surprising …

– Unfortunately this is the case. Residents do not understand why this is important. It is clear that this is a new disease and a new vaccine – and therefore people are wary of this. But we have no other choice. It must be understood that vaccination reduces the likelihood of infection, the development of severe forms and death. Those who have already been vaccinated not only protected themselves, but also fulfilled a socially significant task – not to spread the infection. And the unvaccinated endanger both themselves and others, including those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

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