Testing is performed in the National Laboratory for Molecular Diagnostics that is part of the Institute for Public Health in the following situations:
• Suspected COVID-19 case (as per case definition)
• Symptomatic and asymptomatic close contacts of COVID-19 patients including family members of COIVID19 cases
• cases identified through surveillance, including cases identified by the call centre 1616, such as people with symptoms who do not necessarily meet the case definition
• In certain cases, people in home quarantine and at the end of self-isolation and isolation (treatment)
• Random people coming from affected areas and staying in institutional quarantine
• Other asymptomatic cases, including healthcare professionals before returning to work (negative finding is a condition for returning to work) and random testing of healthcare workers on wards and clinics
• people in nursing homes and chronic care institutions – randomly and/or in series with a few weeks apart
Referral to testing can be done by an epidemiologist, or by secondary and tertiary care physicians, mainly pulmonologists and infectologists.
Sampling is being done in various settings in order to improve accessibility and availability of the service. Samples have been taken in homes, residencies, places of work, quarantine settings, primary health care centres and hospitals. Also, a number of mobile sampling teams from the Institute for Public Health have been deployed and drive-through sampling has also been used.
Currently, Montenegro has only one designated laboratory for testing, situated at the Institute for Public Health. RtPCR has been performed by two teams working around the clock. Optimum capacity of the lab is 250 samples per day, but diagnostics performed in a day were almost 500. Usually results are obtained within a day. Severe cases do have priority in diagnostics as well as pregnant women and older people.
As of May 25th , a total of 11,933 rtPCR tests have been performed, adding up to 18.941 tests per million inhabitants. Currently, the country is exploring possibilities for further improving testing strategies that are based on procurement of high capacity testing equipment, as well as the needed amount of PCR kits and tests.
Testing is currently not available in private laboratories.