All suspected cases are tested in order to classify and report them based on standard procedures. Testing is also performed for the following categories:
- suspected and probable cases whether admitted to hospital or in the community,
- symptomatic medical workers (including emergency services and non-clinical staff) regardless of whether they are a contact of a confirmed case
- the first 3-5 symptomatic individuals in a closed setting (e.g. schools, long term residential facilities, prisons, hospitals)
Testing is by referral from medical workers in hospitals or primary care doctors, self-referral is only available for private laboratory testing.
COVID-19 testing is performed in four public laboratories (National Reference Laboratory of the National Agency for Public Health in Chisinau – 600 tests/day; Regional NAPH lab in Balti – 160 test/day; Diagnostic Center in Chisinau – 100 test/day; Hospital for Dermatology and Communicable Disease in Chisinau – 70 test/day) and three private laboratories in Chisinau with a total testing capacity of ~470 tests per day.
Routine confirmation of COVID-19 includes the detection of unique sequences of virus RNA by nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) such as real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) with confirmation by nucleic acid sequencing when necessary. The viral genes targeted so far include the N, E, S and RdRP genes. WHO guideline and protocols are used.