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Health watchdog authorizes Russian-Japanese coronavirus testing system for use in Russia

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Austria have made preliminary bids for the purchase of over 500,000 tests

MOSCOW, March 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare has authorized a Russian-Japanese coronavirus diagnostic system for use in Russia, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in a statement.

"The MedPromResurs company has been created to promote a new Russian-Japanese diagnostic system to detect COVID-19, which has been authorized by the Federal Service for Surveillance for use in Russia," the statement reads.

"MedPromResurs is working to launch the production of portable laboratories, chemicals and other parts of the diagnostic system at manufacturing facilities in Russia. The system will be employed to diagnose the coronavirus both in Russia and abroad," the Fund added.

According to the RDIF, the project also involves Japan’s K.R. Mirai Genomics and Russia’s Genetic Technologies. According to RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Austria have made preliminary bids for the purchase of over 500,000 tests.

On March 16, the RDIF approved investment in the production of coronavirus diagnostic systems. "Diagnosis by the test is swift - just 30 minutes. A range of test systems has been adapted for use both in fixed laboratories and unique portable mini-laboratories (the size of a small suitcase) and can be used anywhere - including hospitals and public institutions (schools, offices, airports, train stations)," the RDIF said, adding that "full scale use of the testing system is expected in April 2020."


Coronavirus pandemic


In late December 2019, Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in more than 140 countries, including Russia.

On March 11, the WHO declared the outbreak a global pandemic. As of now, over 210,000 people have been infected around the world and about 8,500 have died. Russia has identified 199 cases so far. The Russian government has launched an Internet hotline to keep the country’s people informed about the coronavirus situation.