Policy responses for Russian Federation - HSRM

Russian Federation

Policy responses for Russian Federation

1.5 Testing

Since 2 April, testing for COVID-19 is mandatory for a) all people returning from abroad and experiencing respiratory disease symptoms; b) contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases; c) all cases of pneumonia; d) people over 65 with symptoms of respiratory disease; e) healthcare professionals with risk of COVID-19 exposure (once a week, or in case of symptoms – immediately) f) Boarders in residential establishments (boarding schools, military facilities, prisons) and their staff in case of symptoms of respiratory disease (https://www.rospotrebnadzor.ru/upload/iblock/ca5/postanovlenie-ggsv-ot-30.03.2020-_-9.pdf). Tests are prescribed by a doctor and performed in hospitals, at home by mobile emergency units and also in private laboratories. Final supervisory testing for inconclusive tests is performed by VECTOR, the State Institute for Virology in Koltsovo/Novosibirsk.

On 1 September,  37.1 million tests had been conducted throughout the country by the 109 Rospotrebnadzor laboratories, 575 laboratories in state health care facilities and 155 private laboratories (https://www.rospotrebnadzor.ru/about/info/news/news_details.php?ELEMENT_ID=15280).  Testing capacity increased from 2,000 tests performed daily on 1 March to 300,000 on 10 June (http://government.ru/news/39846/). On 6 April, Rospotrebnadzor launched a large-scale voluntary screening campaign to better “identify, isolate, cure”. People can request a test from the Center for Molecular Diagnostics. The test is performed at home for a fee (1250 RUB per test plus 650 RUB per household). The project is being piloted in the Moscow region for later extension to the whole country. In April, the Ministry of Defence organized mandatory testing of their military and civilian personnel. Sheremetyevo International Airport and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) launched voluntary express-testing for coronavirus for arriving and departing passengers at Terminal B (domestic flights) from 20 July, and at Terminal D (domestic and international flights) from 27 July. Test results are provided in one hour (using Evotek-Mirai Genomics test system) in Russian and in English, and cost 2750 RUB.

In Moscow, as of  4 August,  80,000 tests can be carried out daily  and citizens can access results within three days on their personal electronic medical record page ( https://mosgorzdrav.ru/ru-RU/news/default/card/4457.html ). From 16 July, anyone can take a PCR test by appointment in Moscow for free and without a prescription provided they can show their passport and compulsory health insurance card. Organizations of more than 100,000 employees must organize mandatory testing of 10% of their staff every other week.

On 15 May, a large COVID-19 immunity screening programme was launched in Moscow with ELISA tests on IgM and IgG antibodies. Every three days, 70,000 randomly chosen Moscow citizens receive an invitation for testing via email or sms. Since 27 May, any Moscow citizen requesting it two weeks in advance can undergo this test voluntarily. Data collected is reviewed weekly and published on the mos.ru portal and will inform decision-making on easing of restriction measures. The fourth phase of this immunity screening programme that covered 98,000 people showed that 21.7% of the Moscow population had antibodies (https://mosgorzdrav.ru/ru-RU/news/default/card/4310.html). From 11 June, antibody tests can be taken at the workplace, with cost sharing between the employer and the municipality; on 9 July, 600 companies had engaged in the process (https://mosgorzdrav.ru/ru-RU/news/default/card/4302.html). At national level, starting with three regions in June (St. Petersburg, Tyumen and Khabarovsk), a SARS-COV2 herd immunity study based on IgG ELISA tests was conducted in 23 regions and will be extended to 10 more regions (http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/63764). As part of this first stage, more than 74 thousand people were examined in 26 regions. The results found that in 11 regions the level of population immunity was more than 20%. The highest levels of immunity were found among preschool children (1-6 years old) and primary schoolchildren (7-13 years old); indicators for these age groups were 1.3-2.1 times above the average level of population immunity in these regions. In the socio-professional structure of the population, the highest level of population immunity was found among healthcare and education workers  (https://www.rospotrebnadzor.ru/about/info/news/news_details.php?ELEMENT_ID=15273).

On 31 August 2020, the second stage of the population immunity project was launched in four regions (St. Petersburg city, Leningrad, Tyumen, Khabarovsk regions); with future expansion anticipated. The results of the project are needed to conduct an epidemiological analysis, assess and predict the epidemiological situation, and develop recommendations for counteracting the new coronavirus infection.