09:45 GMT30 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Commission drew up guidelines for COVID-19 testing on Wednesday to ensure its high quality and accuracy, saying that it is especially crucial as member countries are set to gradually loosen the lockdown.

    "The guidance aims to support Member States in effectively using testing tools in the context of their national strategies and during the different stages of the pandemic, including when phasing out confinement measures. The Commission also aims to ensure that high-quality tools are available to assess the performance of the tests", the commission said in a statement.

    It noted that "sufficient monitoring of the progression of the coronavirus pandemic, including through large-scale testing" should precede the final decision to lift the current restrictions.

    The commission urged manufacturers to produce "state of the art" test kits, warning that "crucial" public health decisions would be made on their basis.

    The guidance also suggests pooling resources to validate COVID-19 tests at an EU-level and sharing the results on the matter with each other and the world.

    Among other proposals are establishing a network of special laboratories across the bloc to facilitate the distribution of control samples and the exchange of information. The commission also proposes jointly fighting counterfeit in this area and coordinating supply and demand for tests at an EU level.

    As of Wednesday, 827,180 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom, including 81,480 deaths, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

    COVID-19, coronavirus, test, EU
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