China, UAE launch lab to speed up coronavirus testing, diagnosis

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/2 21:13:41

Genetic testing laboratory of BGI Group, a genome sequencing company, in Southwest China's Yunnan Province. Photo: VCG

Companies from China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are joining hands to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with the launch of a new lab in the UAE.

Chinese genomics company BGI group and UAE technology company Group-42 launched a new massive-throughput laboratory in the UAE on Sunday to facilitate testing and diagnosis of the novel coronavirus in the country.

The lab is capable of conducting tens of thousands RT-PCR tests per day, the first in the world of this scale that operates outside of China, according to BGI Group.

Located in Abu Dhabi the lab was constructed and put into use in just 14 days.

It will enable a rapid response to the current outbreak in UAE by accelerating the diagnosis, identification of suspected cases, screening of close contacts and high-risk groups, drawing on China's experience of fighting against COVID-19.

The lab will utilize BGI's RT-PCR diagnostic kits which have received approval from medical regulatory authorities in China, Europe, the US and Japan, according to the company.

Aside from providing testing within the UAE the lab may also receive samples from neighboring regions and provides close tracking and monitoring of possible new pathogens and mutations of the virus based on BGI's high-throughput sequencing technology.

"Together with our partners at G42, we can bring the world's best technology and experience in fighting global health threats to help the people of the UAE and beyond," said Wang Jian, co-founder and chairman of BGI Group.

The UAE reported two deaths and 150 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, brining the total number of coronavirus cases to 814, according to the Ministry of Health and Prevention of the UAE.




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