A shipment of 10 000 COVID-19 tests, procured by WHO with the financial support of the European Union (EU), arrived in Yerevan, helping boost Armenia’s response to the pandemic.
The tests, obtained at the behest of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia, will allow wider testing for COVID-19 across the country free of charge, reflecting WHO recommendations to test all suspected COVID-19 cases to detect the disease in a timely manner and control its spread.
The tests are of a type included in WHO’s list of quality-assured supplies and are capable of producing accurate results in just 75 minutes. This short processing time saves healthcare workers’ time and energy, helps decrease the probability of human error and allows a larger number of tests to be carried out per day.
Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin, WHO Representative in Armenia, Egor Zaitsev, RA Deputy Minister of Health, Lena Nanushyan, and RA Deputy Foreign Minister, Avet Adonts, were at the MoH National Centre of Disease Control to receive the shipment of tests.
The EU Ambassador and WHO Representative handed over the tests to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Armenia as part of a larger assistance package to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The tests will be provided to the national laboratory, which covers most COVID-19 tests in Yerevan and regions of Armenia.
The EU and the WHO Regional Office for Europe have been actively supporting Armenia in its battle against the virus since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. On 20 June, a group of experts co-funded by WHO and the EU arrived in Armenia to help scale up the response in the country.
The donation of the tests is part of the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which currently affects more than 188 countries and territories. On 27 March 2020, the EU announced an assistance package of €30 million to help prevent, detect and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in six countries of eastern Europe and the Caucasus, including Armenia.
The funds initially will be used to meet immediate emergency needs, such as procuring critical supplies for health-care workers, frontline responders and patients. In the longer term, the assistance will go towards strengthening the country’s capacity to respond to public health emergencies.