Ministry of Health announces COVID-19 testing nationwide

Minister of Health Nelu Tătaru announced that nationwide coronavirus testing of the population will begin after June 1 and will be accomplished through the National Institute for Public Health. Tens of thousands of tests will be performed across the country.

The testing aims to check the level of immunization of the population as well as how wide the virus has spread three months since the start of the pandemic in Romania.

“We will perform the testing through the National Institute for Public Health and the Center for the Supervision and Control of Contagious Diseases, and we will do it to evaluate the status and the immunization of the population,” said the minister of health. He added that this campaign will start on June 1.

Tătaru also specified that the number of tests carried out will depend on the region, as different areas have larger or smaller hot zones. People who volunteer will also be tested.

He mentioned that the evaluation will be done according to the results, and the required budget depends on the method of testing – serological or molecular.

The serological tests are useful, especially after an epidemic has passed, to evaluate the occurrence of asymptomatic infections in the general population and monitor the persistence of natural post-infection immunity. The molecular tests are the only ones that can precisely diagnosis SARS Cov-2.

There will probably be tens of thousands of tests

This is according to professor Alexandru Rafila, the Head of the Romanian Society of Microbiology.

He says that they will gather samples for population testing in June and perform the tests in June and July. They will use the best tests to measure the percentage of the population that has already had the disease – on a regional and local level – and to also make assessments for the future.

“This is important for being able to make comparative studies, for example, with next year’s data. These studies are done to see the trend of immunization of the population,” Rafila explained. He also mentioned that this kind of testing is only possible after the number of those infected decreases.


Author: Blanka Székely