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Head of NCDC shares coronavirus epidemiological updates

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, May 14
On the briefing of May 13th, at the Ministry of Healthcare the director of National Center of Disease Control, Amiran Gamkrelidze talked about PCR tests, experience of Coronavirus treatment using plasma and drug called ’Remdesivir’.

As Gamkrelidze stated according to the algorithm declared by the Ministry of Healthcare, major testing is implemented via tests based on PCR technology and so far, 33000 people have been tested with his method.

He clarifies that world recommendations favours and validates tests established only on molecular technology (PCR). In January-February these tests were assembled by laboratory assistants, but from the beginning of February, various companies commenced mass production of tests based on PCR technology. As he stated, unlike rapid tests, PCR ones are enclosed with extensive documentation, which assures their reliability, therefore every confirmed case of coronavirus has been examined with PCR technology tests.

Gamkrelidze also paid attention to the successful experience when they used plasma of a cured person to treat a patient infected with coronavirus, however, this method could not be widely used since the resources are limited.

“The principle of treatment with plasma is not unusual in medicine and is used for several other diseases and regarding the specific circumstances in which it should be used, treating 100, 200, 300, 1000 patients with this method is not possible. As far as I know, in Georgia, this method has been developed by the team lead by Tengiz Tsertsvadze, and has been successfully used in one patient. It is possible for this method to be included in the protocol and probably should be, but it can not be widely used,” said Gamkrelidze.

He also mentioned a drug ’Remdesivir’ and clarified that in case there is a necessity, this preparation will be used only on severe patients who will be selected randomly.

As he explained the drug was developed in 2015 by one of the largest companies in the field - ’Gilead’, and was being used during the Ebola outbreak. It was also used in Wuhan, China and nowadays is used in every country where it is available. He points out that yet there are no solid researches or proofs that confirm that the drug is able to cure the virus, consequently WHO has decided to conduct a survey in numerous countries in order to finally confirm or deny the effectiveness of ’Remdesivir’ against COVID-19.

As for May 13th, there are 647 cases of coronavirus infection, with 372 recoveries and 11 deaths.