Testing is based on the WHO case definition and includes either a patient with acute respiratory illness (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), AND with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation AND a history of travel to or residence in a country/area or territory reporting local transmission of COVID-19 during the 14 days prior to symptom onset, or a patient with any acute respiratory illness AND having been in contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case in the last 14 days prior to onset of symptoms; or a patient with severe acute respiratory infection (fever and at least one sign/symptom of respiratory disease (e.g., cough, shortness breath) AND requiring hospitalization AND with no other etiology that fully explains the clinical presentation. Active contact tracing is implemented immediately upon identification of a COVID-19 case.
Approximately 50 laboratories have been designated across the country to test for COVID-19, including 3 private sector laboratories and 1 Food Safety Agency laboratory. Principal method of testing is PCR. As of 15 December, over 1.98 million tests have been conducted and daily testing capacity is 5000-15000. The Government has a strategy to expand testing capacities and a roll out plan for additional laboratories to be added to the network when needed. Laboratories have started operating in Ganja and Nakhchivan, while additional laboratories have been opened in Shaki and Sumgait. TABIB has declined to use rapid tests to detect COVID-19 in Azerbaijan because of their low accuracy. By 24 February 2021, the weekly number of tests performed in Azerbaijan was over 49,000. By 27 April 2021, the weekly number of tests performed in Azerbaijan was over 80,000.
With the reopening of flights to and from Azerbaijan, only passengers who have been tested for COVID-19 are allowed to board. In view of this, the list of laboratories accredited by TABIB where passengers can be tested for COVID-19 without a doctor’s appointment has expanded. The test result must be less than 48 hours old. So far, there are eight such sites:
- Referans Clinical Laboratory Centre;
- Leyla Medical Centre;
- Memorial Clinic;
- Bona Dea International Hospital;
- Inci Laboratories;
- Center for Control of Particularly Dangerous Infections;
- Caspian International Hospital;