MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. An express COVID-19 test created under a joint Russian-Japanese project, which makes a precise diagnosis within 30 minutes, has proved its effectiveness and is actively purchased by Russian enterprises, Japan’s Ambassador to Russia Toyohisa Kozuki told TASS.
"One of particular projects of cooperation that can be named is the creation of an express test for the coronavirus, which was welcomed by the ministers and leaders of our countries," Kozuki said. The test was developed by a Japanese-Russian Joint Venture Evotech-Mirai Genomics, which uses a method of express diagnostics SmartAmp invented by Japan.
The ambassador recalled that on May 6 an agreement was reached on financing the production of an express test through the Russian-Japanese investment fund, which was set up in 2017 by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on the basis of an 8-point Plan of Cooperation. The diplomat noted that the applied technology "allows to make a precise diagnosis within 30 minutes and carry out three or four times more tests on the existing equipment.
"An express test developed thanks to cooperation between our two countries is widely used in Russia. According to the [Russian] Ministry of Economic Development, more than 2 mln tests were purchased by 40 major Russian companies and at the moment the global demand for this test exceeds 20 mln," he noted.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe, including Russia.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 10,429,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 508,400 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 5,689,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
To date, 647,849 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Russia, with 412,650 patients having recovered from the disease. Russia’s latest data indicates 9,320 fatalities nationwide. Earlier, the Russian government set up an Internet hotline to keep the public updated on the coronavirus situation.