A view of the COVID-19 detection lab in Abu Dhabi.
The lab is capable of conducting tens of thousands RT-PCR tests per day and is the first in the world of this scale to be operational outside of China.
The lab showcases the joint commitment of G42 and BGI to the leadership and people of the UAE, working with the nation to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The laboratory, located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, was built and operationalised by G42 and BGI in only 14 days, providing an immediate solution to COVID testing scale-up needs in the UAE.
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 WHO).
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 United States (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). G42 and BGI, whose partnership began in December 2019 with the announcement of the Population Genome Program by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, have stepped up to the forefront in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. From the production of COVID-19 diagnostic kits to the supply of thermal sensors and medical goods, the two companies are deploying their expertise and technologies in support of international health authorities as they create effective prevention and detection protocols.
Wang Jian, Co-founder and Chairman of BGI Group, said: “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.”
The lab will prioritize testing within the UAE but could scale up to receive samples from neighboring regions. The partners also plan to enable cutting-edge monitoring of virus mutations and the ability to detect new pathogens in the future with high-throughput sequencing.
The Ministry of Education and the Umm Al Quwain emergency, crisis and disaster management team announced schools in Umm Al Quwain will switch to 100 per cent online learning ‘until further notice’.
MoHAP also announced the death of three patients as a result of COVID-19 complications. The total number of deaths in the country has reached 375, it added.
And all the eight franchises are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the meeting as they look to move into the final stages of preparations for the league to be played in the UAE this time round due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry stressed in a statement on Thursday that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
Experts say that they were victims of the ever-more unpredictable and extreme weather that has hit South Asia in recent years caused by climate change and exacerbated by deforestation, damming and excessive development.
This came in a phone call Sheikh Mohamed received on Wednesday from the Syrian president where they also discussed the ongoing developments in Syria and the Middle East in addition to issues of regional and international interest.