According to an analysis conducted by Nova Ekonomija, in 2020, Serbia spent at least 3.4 billion dinars, i.e. approximately 28.6 million euro, on the purchase of PCR (molecular) tests used to detect the presence of the coronavirus.
PCR tests from the Chinese manufacturers Sansure and BGI, as well as those of the American company Abbott, are said to be the most widely purchased.
In Serbia, in 2020, Sansure sold 2.34 billion dinars (20 million euros) worth of PCR tests, BGI 968 million dinars (8.2 million euros), and Abbott 56.4 million dinars (about 480,400 euros), according to data from the Agency for Medicinal Products and Devices (ALIMS).
Given that PCR tests only be performed in state laboratories in Serbia, the only logical conclusion is that those laboratories have the data on PCR testing.
Nova Ekonomija sent a request for access to information of public importance to all public health centres and institutes in Serbia, as well as to the clinical centres in Niš and Belgrade, the Institute for Biocides and the Directorate of National Reference Laboratories, receiving replies from more than 20 institutes, the Batut Public Health Institute and the University Clinical Centre in Niš.
Some local laboratories did not perform PCR tests, some did not provide information regarding the testing, but most of them replied that they had no data on the procurement of tests because the State Health Insurance Fund (RFZO) was the only one that did the purchase.
However, when Nova Ekonomija contacted the RFZO and requested to see the relevant data, the RFZO refused to do so, saying that the data were classified as ‘top secret’.
(Nova Ekonomija, 22.12.2021)
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