Researchers urge Romania government to increase rapid tests for COVID-19. “In 2-3 weeks, it will be too late”- G4Media

Two Romanian researchers have appealed to the government to start aggressively testing people for coronavirus to stem the spread of the sometimes deadly disease, a news site reported.

The U.S.-based researchers, Valentin Parvu and Mihaela Parvu, said Romania had “an extremely small window of opportunity, just 2-3 weeks” before the situation gets out of control, “like in Italy and Spain,” the European epicenters of the pandemic, G4Media reported.

They said they were willing to start a pilot program in the central city of Sibiu to show how the system works and how it can be replicated.

Romania has reported 260 infections of COVID-19, most of them in the last week.

„The government is delaying using current testing due to statistical misunderstanding of the problems,” they told G4Media.

Valentin Parvu is a statistician with a PhD with 16 years experience in the U.S, and has been chief statistician for Becton Dickinson Diagnostics division for four years, he said.

Mihaela Parvu is a specialist in internal medicine and infectious disease in the U.S.

“We want to start aggressive population screening in Sibiu with rapid tests for SARS-COV2 which would allow for a „curve flattening”. Screen, then isolate,” G4Media reported.

It said the methods were used in South Korea, “which although it didn’t limit population movement in an aggressive sway as China did, managed to keep the epidemic under control.”

It said that PCR, a relatively straightforward type of test called a polymerase chain reaction , that been around for decades is „the golden standard.”

To run it, a doctor swabs a patient’s nose or throat and sends the sample to a lab. The lab then looks for tiny snippets of the virus’s genetic material. PCR analysis is complicated but reliable.

„In 2-3 weeks, it could be too late and there will be many, big outbreaks.”


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