The Ministry of Health of Georgia and the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health have received 20,000 top-quality Korean PCR tests.
According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, during the unloading of tests received from Korea at the Tbilisi International Airport, Georgian Deputy Minister of Health Giorgi Tsotskolauri and Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Khvtisiashvili were present.
Tests were acquired with the active involvement and financial support of the Bank of Georgia.
How are the tests different?
There are two types of tests for coronavirus: rapid tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
Rapid tests determine the presence of antibodies to the virus in the blood and not the actual presence of the virus. This method is considered not very accurate since our body begins to produce antibodies, not from the first day of infection with the disease – in the case of COVID-19 it is about 5-7 days. The result of the test becomes known after 15 minutes, and it can be done in any medical facility. But in any case, results must be re-checked by PCR because testing can occur at a time when the patient’s body has not yet developed antibodies.
Wuhan doctors even joked: they say that the new coronavirus outwitted us all. And all because even in case of infection, the rapid test may not show a positive result several times, wrote the New York Post. This was the reason for the jump in numbers on February 13 during the Wuhan epidemic, when Chinese doctors changed the criteria for counting patients based on computed tomography data.
Or, as in the case with the president of Brazil, when Jair Bolsonaro was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the first test gave a positive result but the second one did not confirm coronavirus and yet the president got sick.
The PCR method is considered accurate because it captures the presence of the virus itself (its DNA or RNA, which are carriers of genetic information). A sample for this test is taken from the nasal mucosa of a person. The test identifies a fragment of RNA or DNA of the pathogen (i.e. the virus) in the sample. The method is quite complicated, but it allows to detect the virus, even if the sample contains only one molecule of its genome.
The main advantage of PCR is its high sensitivity, direct detection of the pathogen, the ability to diagnose not only acute but also mild infections. This method is not new – it is widely used in biological and medical practice for cloning genes, mutations, creating and determining genetically modified organisms, diagnosing hereditary and infectious diseases, identifying small amounts of DNA, establishing paternity, and more.
Testing for COVID-19 is not carried out for everyone, but only for those who have corresponding symptoms, were in contact with infected, had a recent trip abroad or a contact with a person who returned from abroad. But before that, doctors use other tests to rule out the presence of flu and other viruses. If these diseases are not confirmed, only then the material is transferred for further testing for coronavirus. This is the algorithm that the WHO recommends.