Africa-China COVID-19 cooperation stepped up with Angola lab

Source:chinadaily 2020-07-20

  The Angolan government and China's Shenzhen BGI Group on July 16 held an online signing ceremony for the Angola Fire Eye laboratory project, boosting the African country's capacity to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

  Gong Tao, the Chinese Ambassador to Angola, said under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and Joao Lourenco, Angola's President, the governments and people of the two countries have worked together in overcoming the pandemic.

  "Together we have fully demonstrated the rich connotation of the China-Angola strategic partnership and the friendly relationship between our two peoples. We hope the construction and operation of the Fire Eye laboratory will deepen our anti-pandemic and health services cooperation," Gong said.

  Silvia Lutucuta, Angola's Minister of Health, thanked China for providing assistance in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, adding Angola and other countries in the world have learned a lot from China's experience in fighting the epidemic.

  "Detection capacity is the basis for the formulation of prevention and control policies, and Angola needs to continue to improve large-scale detection capabilities. Angola is confident to entrust the Shenzhen BGI Group with the construction of five laboratories, which will create a new period of opportunity to prevent and control the epidemic," Lutucuta said.

  According to Yang Huanming, Chinese academician and co-founder of Shenzhen BGI Group, the BGI Huoyan or Fire Eye laboratory has played an important role in the practice of anti-epidemic diseases in China and around the world, and has proven to be very effective.

  "More than 20 countries and regions have started or are in negotiations with more than 70 Huoyan laboratories, with total daily test volume expected to exceed 300,000 tests," Yang said.

  Yang added a Huoyan laboratory made by BGI is equipped with automated equipment for the extraction of high-performance nucleic acids to improve the efficiency of large-scale detection.

  According to Antonio Tete, Angola's Minister of Foreign Affairs, China is Angola's strategic partner, and the agreement will not only bring Angola to necessary virus detection capacity, but will also give Angolan cadres the opportunity to learn advanced technology.

  Under the cooperation agreement, BGI will build five new laboratories in Angola, including a greenhouse laboratory, with a total result of 6,000 samples per day. This is expected to accelerate the country's national testing capacity by up to 10 times.

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