G42, BGI open COVID-19 detection lab in Abu Dhabi's Masdar City

Built in 14 days, the lab is first in the world, outside of China, to be able to conduct tens of thousands of RT-PCR tests per day

The laboratory was built in 14 days.
Group 42
The laboratory was built in 14 days.

Abu Dhabi-based technology firm Group 42 (G42), and global genomics leader BGI, have opened a new massive-throughput laboratory that has been constructed for the detection and diagnosis of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UAE, with the facility being located in Masdar City.

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

According to the UAE’s state-held news agency, Wam, the laboratory was rapidly constructed and operationalised by G42 and BGI in 14 days, with an aim to step up testing facilities and reduce the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The lab will help accelerate the diagnosis, identification of suspected cases, the release of recovered patients, and the screening of close contacts and high-risk groups.

Speaking about the laboratory, chief executive officer of G42, Peng Xiao, 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."

"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,” Xiao added.

In order to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, the lab will use BGI’s RT-PCR diagnostic kits. The RT-PCR diagnostic kit has received approvals from China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), Europe’s CE-IVD, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services ,and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

From the production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits to the supply of thermal sensors and medical goods, both G42 and BGI have been implementing their expertise and technologies in support of international health authorities.

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