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Only one test in Russia can determine COVID-19 antibody concentration — official

Other testing kits are capable of only detecting the presence of antibodies, according to the chief of Russia’s sanitary watchdog

MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. A test kit for novel coronavirus antibodies, designed by the Vector research center, is the only product of its kind in Russia that shows not only the presence of antibodies, but also their concentration, the chief of Russia’s sanitary watchdog, Anna Popova, said on Wednesday.

"As far as assessing the population’s immunity is concerned, Russia has instruments for the purpose. A testing kit, designed by Vector, has been registered for use in Russia. It is the only kit that gives us quantitative data. In other words, it lets us 'see' this immunity, how strong it is," she said in a Rossiya-24 TV channel broadcast.

Other testing kits are capable of only detecting the presence of antibodies, Popova added.

Russia’s chief sanitary official stated there was no need so far to make those testing kits publicly available.

However, in her opinion, a large-scale study should be carried out in Russia to assess whether those who had recovered — including those who had the asymptomatic form of the disease — are immune to it and for how long.

"Population studies are very important, given that nearly half of all cases detected in Russia are asymptomatic. We need to answer questions of how immunity is formed depending on the form of the disease, how strong it is and how long it will last. All those questions need to be answered to protect the population and prevent our people from falling ill," she said.

According to present-day data, about 45-47% from the general number of those infected have had the asymptomatic form of novel coronavirus.

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 3,100,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 218,000 deaths have been reported.

To date, a total of 99,399 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 10,286 patients having recovered from the virus. Russia’s latest data indicates 972 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.