ArmInfo.The Institute of Molecular Biology of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia is awaiting the decision of the Ministry of Health of the Republic to organize the production of tests for COVID-19. Director of the Institute Arsen Arakelyan stated this at a press conference in Yerevan on July 1.
According to him, at the first stage the institute will be able to produce 2 thousand tests with the possibility of increasing these volumes. In total, the institute is capable of producing up to 100-120 thousand tests per year. Currently, about 6 thousand tests are stored, which, if the Ministry of Health approves, will be brought to the market at a price of $ 2.5 per test. Moreover, as noted by Arsen Torosyan, the accuracy of the Armenian test samples is 98% compared to foreign counterparts. In its activities, the Institute cooperates with a number of European and Chinese universities. As regards export opportunities, Arsen Arakelyan emphasized that now such an opportunity is not considered, since it is associated with a long process of product certification. The director also noted that the institute, in cooperation with the Yerevan Institute of Physics, developed and produced the first samples of masks, which are distinguished by additional protective properties. Work is also underway on the development of drugs. However, there are two problems in this issue - the lack of financial resources and material and technical means. The institute has no problems with human resources, said Arsen Arakelyan.
To recall, at the end of May Arsen Arakelyan reported that the Institute of Molecular Biology of the NAS of Armenia is ready to produce 1-2 thousand tests for COVID-19 daily. "We have received all the necessary materials for the preparation of 100 thousand tests, tests are being carried out now. The tests are very sensitive and the virus can be detected even with a relatively low titer (concentration) of the virus," Arakelyan noted, adding that after the test period it is planned to produce about 1-2 thousand tests. The Director of the Institute emphasized that the work is carried out jointly with the Ministry of Health and the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "We take the tests they made, and repeat them to compare the accuracy of our tests. During this week or early next, the tests will already be submitted to the Ministry for testing," he said. Currently, samples are already being produced from the purchased reagents, the tests of which will be carried out in several stages. The production of tests on the spot will save money allocated by the state for their acquisition abroad. Samples taken from a person are checked for the presence of coronavirus in diagnostic laboratories. The procedure is based on the so-called polymerase chain reaction (PCR), often used in areas such as forensics or genetics. It should be noted that over the last 24 hors, 523 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Armenia, 515 people recovered. During this period, 10 people were died from coronavirus - 6 men and 4 women aged 62 to 76 years. Altogether, since the beginning of the pandemic, 26065 cases of morbidity have been confirmed, 10,900 people have received treatment, 14,563 patients have recovered. At the same time, the total number of deaths amounted to 453 cases.