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Russia to Treat All Patients with Pnuemonia for Coronavirus Without Waiting for Results

Commuters travel in a metro train during a partial lockdown in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. (Reuters)

Commuters travel in a metro train during a partial lockdown in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. (Reuters)

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko's statement echoes earlier comments from Moscow doctors involved in treating coronavirus patients, saying the vast majority of pneumonia cases in Russia are most likely caused by the new virus and should be treated as such.

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Russian doctors will start treating all patients with pneumonia for the new coronavirus without waiting for test results to confirm the diagnosis, the country's Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said.

"We're seeing that the disease progresses fast, and it has specific clinical presentation, (allowing) to diagnose (it) without confirming in the lab based on the clinical presentation," Murashko said in a TV interview that aired on Thursday night.

Murashko's statement echoes earlier comments from Moscow doctors involved in treating coronavirus patients, saying that the vast majority of pneumonia cases in Russia are most likely caused by the new virus and should be treated as such.

"Existing tests for confirming COVID-19 are 70-80% accurate," Denis Protsenko, chief doctor of a top Moscow hospital treating coronavirus patients, said on Thursday.

Russian health officials reported 1,786 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the country's total to 11,917. The outbreak has picked up speed in Russia in recent weeks, with the number of cases growing exponentially and doubling every few days.

Kremlin critics have been questioning the official statistics, pointing to a growing number of pneumonia cases and suggesting that Russia's coronavirus case count might be much higher.


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