In light of the growing number of infected cases and spread of the pandemic, the CEI-WHO designated Task Force (TF) in response to COVID-19 met on 28 October to discuss testing capacities, instruments and solutions adopted in the CEI Member States.

The participants were informed about the CEI initiatives and projects in the health sector as a reaction to the ongoing emergency. The recent publication elaborated by the European Commission “EU health preparedness: recommendations for a common EU testing approach for COVID-19” was used to ease and focus the discussion.

Dr Marco Marklewitz, Laboratory Expert at WHO Regional Office for Europe, WHO Health Emergency Programme illustrated testing strategies and testing capacities to the audience with a special focus on the use of antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) compared to nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Speakers from different countries gave an overview of the current situation at the local and national level specifying they were carrying out massive nation-wide testing; they gave examples of their experiences: challenges faced in pilot testing, coordination of different stakeholders in testing procedures or in the use of contact-tracing apps.

The participants remarked that the meetings of the Task Force brought forth new lessons learned each time. Hence, the platform has the potential to grow/get bigger and wider.

The next TF meeting in the form of a webinar is taking place on 11 November 2020.

 

For more info: apuzzo@cei.int