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WHO verifies Belarus’ coronavirus test results


A reference laboratory of the World Health Organization has verified the results of laboratory tests for COVID-19 conducted in Belarus, Natalya Zhukova, Deputy Health Minister - Chief Public Health Inspector of Belarus, has told a BelTA reporter.

“We sent samples that tested positive and negative to one of the WHO reference laboratories located in Germany. We have received an official response that said that the test results of our laboratories absolutely match the verified results. WHO has confirmed that our laboratories have the necessary level of competence,” Natalya Zhukova said.

Laboratory tests for COVID-19 are done by five laboratories in two healthcare facilities located in Minsk and Gomel. Laboratories in Mogilev Oblast and Grodno Oblast will start carrying out such tests one of these days. Healthcare workers received additional training. More laboratories are on standby. Their capacities will be used if needed.

According to the deputy minister, additional resources were attracted to fulfill WHO recommendations. “We are ready to expand the list of tests if necessary. To date, we have enough laboratory capacity to diagnose suspected COVID-19 cases and their contacts,” she said.

Tests are conducted providing there are clinical or epidemiological indications. These are either respiratory disease symptoms, or traveling to the countries battling the coronavirus outbreak, or contacts with the presumed source of the infection.