Angola Strengthens Covid-19 Testing Capacity

Luanda — Angola has increased its capacity for mass Covid-19 tests, with the Viana Laboratory Diagnostic Centre coming into operation this Thursday, with the capacity to process 6,000 samples per day.

This is the country's largest molecular biology and serology laboratory, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, with capacity to carry out 3,000 "RT-PCR" tests and an equal number of "Elisa," making a total of 6,000 samples per day. Located in the Viana Special Economic Zone (ZEE), the infrastructure, estimated at USD 7 million, was inaugurated by the Minister of State and Head of the Civil House of the President of the Republic, Adão de Almeida. The Minister for Health, Sílvia Lutucuta, said on the occasion that with that testing capacity the country was in a position to increase case diagnosis, contact tracing and mass testing, fundamentally for the two main risk groups (health professionals and the Defence and Security bodies).

The setting up of the Viana Laboratory Diagnostic Centre was led by a young Angolan scholarship holder in China, through the BGI company, a world leader in diagnosis and molecular biology equipment and serological analyses.

According to the Health Minister, the laboratory will also play a fundamental role in training staff, with a view to the need for human resources for the remaining regions of the country.

She said that three more laboratories of this kind would soon be set up in the provinces of Huambo, Lunda Norte and Uíge, also acquired in China, with capacity to process 2,000 tests per day each.

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