Al Qassimi Hospital to Get H1N1 Testing Lab

SHARJAH - The Ministry of Health will commission a new lab for conducting tests to confirm H1N1.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 30 Aug 2009, 10:28 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 May 2024, 3:15 PM

The new lab, to be opened within two months, will be at the Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah.

Minister of Health, Dr. Hanif Hassan, announced this after signing an agreement for establishing a reference virology laboratory with Abdul Aziz Al Madfa, director of Citomed, a company specialised in medical equipment 
and laboratories.

Citing that the state-of-the-art lab will conduct the test in just 24 hours, Dr. Hassan said it would be commissioned in 60 days. “The lab will be a new addition to the laboratory services in Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah,’’ the minister said in a statement.

Khaleej Times had first reported the ministry’s plans to set up more lab facilities for conducting confirmatory tests, with the first one coming up in Al Qassimi Hospital. The report published on August 21 had quoted the Director General of Ministry of Health Dr. Ali Ahmed Bin Shakar indicating plans to have another lab facility in Fujairah in future. Dr. Shakar had also confirmed that the move to have more testing centres was prompted by the increasing number of cases in the country, including locally transmitted ones.

Currently, only Sheikh Khalifa Medical City and Zayed Military Hospital in Abu Dhabi are conducting the real-time PCR confirmatory tests for H1N1 influenza virus. Each emirate has selected central sample collection centres, which send the samples to the laboratories in these two institutions. Lab results on samples from suspected patients in Sharjah and other Northern Emirates would normally take at least three days. On rare occasions, samples have been sent abroad as well, in which case the results came more than a week later.

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