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Private labs to begin testing for coronavirus in Russia on March 26

Source: TASS

Two private laboratories, Hemotest and Helix, will begin conducting tests for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, TASS reported.

Helix will conduct tests in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg. It will subsequently begin accepting samples in other cities. Helix’s test will cost 600 rubles ($7.67), but that excludes the cost of sample collection, which varies from region to region.

On March 26, Hemotest will begin accepting samples in Moscow and six nearby cities: Dzershinsky, Podolsk, Mytishchi, Krasnogorsk, Balashikha, and Odintsovo. By March 31, Simferopol will be added to that list. Hemotest’s test will cost 1,490 rubles ($19.10), and sample collection will cost 410 rubles ($5.26).

Tatiana Golikova, the deputy prime minister leading Russia’s federal COVID-19 efforts, confirmed that private companies will begin testing for the disease.

Another private lab, Invitro, has said it will be prepared to begin testing within the next month.

Until March 25, only state-run laboratories were authorized and able to conduct COVID-19 testing, and experts noted a significant shortage of tests. State-run tests are free of charge in Russia, as they are in many countries, but journalists have found that the tests are frequently unavailable.

In the United States, preliminary pricing for new at-home tests has hovered between $130 and $180. Some private clinics have fronted the costs of testing themselves to keep the procedure free for clients. Individuals whose tests have not been covered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported receiving bills of hundreds of dollars.

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