Georgia - is mass testing necessary?
In Georgia, testing has begun on coronavirus for individuals at high risk.
First of all, medical staff of clinics will be checked, where patients with coronavirus, military personnel, patients of psychiatric clinics, clerics, as well as residents of nursing homes and boarding houses for people with disabilities are treated.
Rapid tests will be carried out for these categories of the population, and those that test positive will be checked by a PCR test.
The opposition and some medical experts critically evaluate the actions of the authorities, arguing that this algorithm for checking for coronavirus will not give an objective picture and that universal testing is necessary, not targeted.
As of April 30, 539 cases of coronavirus infection were officially recorded in Georgia. There are 5256 people in quarantine. Under inpatient supervision – 548 patients. 178 people recovered. Died 6.
The former Minister of Health, now a member of the opposition European Georgia, Zurab Chiaberashvili argues that only total testing of the population will give a real picture of what is happening, and the authorities should daily report not only on the number of tests performed, but also report on who was tested and how many health workers have been tested.
- Georgia’s anti-crisis plan – who will be helped how
- Georgia: what fate awaits tourism?
- Georgia looking to lift COVID-19 restrictions in stages over 3 months
However, according to the director of the Tbilisi Infectious Diseases Hospital, the head of the coronavirus clinical control group Tengiz Tsertsvadze, it is targeted testing, not mass testing, that is effective for controlling the epidemic. With total testing of the population, Tsertsvadze says, the probability of identifying infected people is insignificant and in essence it is a waste of resources, time and effort.
“For example, Germany and Israel have chosen the path of universal testing. So only 3% of the population were able to test. Naturally, this is not enough to control the epidemic, ”said Tsertsvadze and leading epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists of Georgia agree with his opinion.
Director of the National Center for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze adheres to the same point of view. According to him, it is simply impossible to test the entire population of the country, and there is no such approach anywhere.
“In Germany, only those with symptoms are tested. And we in Georgia took the German model as the basis, ”Gamkrelidze said
He reported that there are 21,000 PCR tests in Georgia. An additional 40,000 will be delivered shortly, and by the end of the month the stock will be 100,000 tests. According to Gamkrelidze, an analysis of 700 tests is carried out daily in the Lugar laboratory, and in May this number will be increased to 1500-2000.
Since February, 12593 people have been checked for COVID-19 in Georgia. According to www.worldometers.info, out of every 1 million people in Georgia, 3157 were tested for coronavirus. This is one of the lowest rates in Europe, and the lowest rate in Ukraine alone is 2390 out of 1 million. In neighboring Azerbaijan and Armenia, these figures are 13082 and 6813, respectively