Massive Covid-19 testing lab set up in UAE in 14 days

covid-19, coronavirus, lab, UAE, testing

Abu Dhabi - The lab is the first in the world of this scale to be operational outside of China.

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By Wam

Published: Tue 31 Mar 2020, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2020, 2:24 AM

A new laboratory capable of handling tens of thousands of tests per day has been set up in the UAE.

The laboratory, located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, was built and operationalised in only 14 days, providing an immediate solution to the Covid-19 coronavirus testing needs in the UAE.

Group 42 (G42), a technology company based in Abu Dhabi, and global genomics leader BGI, announced on Tuesday the launch of this new massive throughput laboratory.

The lab is capable of conducting tens of thousands real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests per day and is the first in the world of this scale to be operational outside of China.

Proactively learning from the China experience in handling the Covid-19 crisis, the lab ensures that the UAE continues to lead the world as the most tested country per capita (according to the World Health Organisation).

Peng Xiao, CEO of G42, said: "This high throughput lab provides the scale and firepower to enable all people in Abu Dhabi and the UAE to access the most reliable PCR tests, which are also provided by G42 in partnership with BGI. We thank the UAE leadership's support in protecting the health and wellbeing of the country's residents against this pandemic."

"In such challenging times, we feel compelled to leverage our expertise, technological resources and international partnerships to bring rapid, accurate testing capabilities on a massive scale and bolster the detection efforts led by authorities," he continued.

This new processing capacity will enable a rapid response to the current outbreak by accelerating the diagnosis, identification of suspected cases, the release of recovered patients, and the screening of close contacts and high-risk groups.

The lab will utilize BGI's RT-PCR diagnostic kits for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 disease. It is the only RT-PCR diagnostic kit that has received approvals from China (NMPA), Europe (CE-IVD), the US (FDA) and the WHO.

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