Oil Report

Russia's RDIF fund says it will have coronavirus test kits for public use within a month

MOSCOW, March 27 (Reuters) - The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and its partners have produced 500,000 coronavirus test kits so far, but are planning to soon ramp up production to 2.5 million kits a week, Kirill Dmitriev, RDIF’s head, told Reuters in a phone interview.

RDIF last week announced an investment into a Russian company called Medpromresurs, which was established to focus on a new Russian-Japanese coronavirus testing system.

Its partners in Medpromresurs are Japan’s К.R. Mirai Genomics and two other Russian firms.

RDIF, a Russian sovereign wealth fund, began to focus on how to fight coronavirus in January.

Dmitriev said that demand for tests was for now mainly from big Russian companies who want to protect towns where their big plants are located, so-called single-industry or monotowns.

Test kits for fast and mass public use would be ready within a month, Dmitriev said.

“(Testing) should be done wisely and selectively as it was done in Hong Kong and South Korea, which are examples of a successful approach (in fighting coronavirus),” he said. (Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova, Gleb Stolyarov and Katya Golubkova Editing by Andrew Osborn)