Moscow leads other megalopolises in COVID-19 testing

August 13

Moscow is continuing to increase the scope of COVID-19 testing, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in his remarks at a meeting of the presidium of the Coordinating Council to combat COVID-19.

“We are continuing to increase and expand the scope of testing. The number of tests amounted to more than 300,000 over the last week. Is that many or few? This is 100 percent more than in New York, 500 percent more than in Madrid, and in general we lead all other major cities in terms of testing. In order to identify new cases in time and provide medical aid, we are not cutting back on testing,” he said.

The city has carried out over 6.5 million COVID-19 tests. Almost 80,000 PCR and EIA/ CLIA tests are performed per day.  Mr Sobyanin noted that the proportion of asymptomatic cases was nearly 60 percent: “This is much more than in other regions because Moscow has organised mass-scale testing, including by free appointment, and with regard to PCR and EIA tests.”   

COVID-19 tests are available to anyone, provided he or she has a Moscow mandatory health insurance policy. There are EMIAS.INFO, Moya Moskva, and Gosuslugi Moskvy mobile apps, as well as information booths at city health centres where an appointment can be made. The results will be entered on a patient’s online health record at and EMIAS.INFO and can be accessed within three days of testing.

“The free appointment system helps to boost the detection rate. It is 80 percent more efficient than screening at factories or offices. It means that people, who feel unwell or at risk, come of their own accord and the infection, if any, is detected more rapidly,” he said. 

According to Mr Sobyanin, the COVID-19 pneumonia rate has been reduced by almost 50 percent. The number of patients needing ventilators has fallen by 25 percent and there has been a drop of 22 percent in the number of occupied beds, with 23 major hospitals reverting to elective care.  He added that the situation in the city had been stable over the past two months, remaining approximately at the same level. 

“Moscow has restored 91 percent of its traffic, and the majority of businesses and organisations have returned to their normal activities. The cash turnover of small and medium-sized businesses is even slightly higher than the pre-crisis level. All industrial and construction businesses are fully operational,” he said.  

He stressed that the growth rate of COVID-19 cases had been no higher than 0.3 percent lately, this despite increased movement among the population. The number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in Moscow has reached 190,555.

For more detail on COVID-19 prevention and treatment, see the special project.


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