Testing capacity for COVID-19 to double at Cantacuzino Institute, PM claims. Romania, second to last on testing in the EU

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The laboratory of Cantacuzino Institute currently has a capacity of 500 tests per day for COVID-9, but the capacity could be increased as needed, said PM Ludovic Orban after visiting the institute on Thursday.

Cantacuzino Institute went under the Health Ministry’s authority in December 2016 after it had served under the jurisdiction of the National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation.

PM Orban said that the testing capacity could be increased up to 1,000 coronavirus tests per day, meaning double than it is now. The capacity countrywide is around 8,000 tests in 61 locations.

“Our goal is to keep increasing the testing capacity so that we can test according to the needs,” PM Orban said, adding that Cantacuzino institute has several projects in the pipeline, including resuming the production of the flu vaccine.

Cantacuzino National Institute of Research-Development for Microbiology and Immunology (CNIR) is a national institute in Romania, which does scientific research in the fields of microbiology, immunology, molecular biology and genetics, and education of microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, training of scientific and technical. Despite ranking among the most appreciated immunological producers in the world, the institute has started to face decline since February 2010, after the National Agency of Medicines withdrew its authorization to sell products for injection, including vaccines, as the fabrication standard had expired. Under these conditions, some immunization national programs have been blocked for several months, while the authorities being compelled to import other vaccines.

Media and civil society have long blamed the state authorities of closing their eyes or even of being hand in hand with the foreign drug companies that would want their medicine and vaccines prevail on the Romanian market.

Cantacuzino Institute’s employees have repeatedly protested against the situation and the dissolution of the institution in the past two years, even asking for the President’s involvement.

Vlad Mixich: Romania, the least tests in the EU

Romanian health policies expert Vlad Mixich has said though that Romania is testing among the least suspects of Coronavirus in the European Union, with Hungary being the state that is running the least tests. Mixich said that increasing the testing capacity is essential as a strategy of exiting the lockdown, which is able to protect the public healthcare and allow reactivating the economy at the same time.

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