MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian technology company Yandex plans to make free tests for the new coronavirus available to people of all ages in Moscow and its suburbs.
The company said last week that Muscovites over the age of 65 would be eligible for tests carried out by a medical professional at home, part of a project with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).
But managing director Tigran Khudaverdyan said in a statement on Monday that people in Moscow “who keep working and ensure a safe life for citizens at this difficult time … should be tested.”
“That’s why we decided to make all tests free of charge,” he said.
Yandex, which offers a wide array of online services including an internet search engine, taxi reservations and food deliveries, said the testing would be funded by the company and donations. It was not immediately clear how much the plan would cost Yandex.
Monday’s statement quoted Kirill Dmitriev, RDIF’s head, as saying: “Timely testing is an important step … in helping to restore a normal lifestyle and economic activity across the whole country.”
Russia had a total of 47,121 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Monday, with 405 deaths.
(Reporting by Nadezhda Tsydenova, Writing by Maria Tsvetkova, Editing by Katya Golubkova and Timothy Heritage)