BGI, AID Genomics partner to build lab in Gaza to test 3,000 a day

In late March, Genetics giant BGI announced it would be working alongside Israeli company MyHeritage to build a lab capable of testing up to 10,000 people a day for coronavirus.

A coronavirus testing facility in Wuhan, China. (photo credit: BGI)
A coronavirus testing facility in Wuhan, China.
(photo credit: BGI)
Israeli medical technology company AID Genomics and DNA company BGI announced their plans to set up an emergency lab for residents of Gaza and the PA.
The state-of-the-art lab will be capable of testing approximately 3,000 people for coronavirus every day.
Prior to the announcement on Monday, AID Genomics’ parent company AID Group and BGI had been collaborating on cancer genomics for two years, and AID Group has already supplied hundreds of thousands of BGI coronavirus test kits to Israel.
Nir Zeno, CEO of AID Genomics World Group said, "In recent months, I have been working hard alongside the chairman of AID Genomics, Mr. Calvin Wu, to help a large number of countries in the world. To my delight as an Israeli, our proposal, which included setting up one laboratory on the Israeli side and another on the Palestinian side, was approved by both the Palestinian side and in coordination with Israeli security forces."
 

 
In late March, BGI, the world's largest DNA and genetics company, announced it would be working alongside Israeli company MyHeritage to build a lab capable of testing up to 10,000 people a day.
The lab on the Israeli side is scheduled to open April 9 and plans on eventually doubling its capacity to 20,000 daily coronavirus tests.
While there is no word on when exactly the Gaza lab will be open and operational, the companies said they have already begun preparations to send the equipment to the area, which is expected to depart from China in the coming days.
According to Zeno, the lab in Gaza will be able to perform up to 3,000 tests a day.
"The incredible will to help coming from people and companies all over the world will allow us to provide the utmost assistance for the residents of the Gaza Strip and eradicate the spread of the virus throughout the region," Zeno said.
Chinese genetics company BGI was one of the first to test for the virus after it erupted in Wuhan.
Dr. Yin Ye, CEO of BGI Genomics, said following the announcement that "the most awful times reveal the best in people. Saving lives is of the utmost importance and we must work together to overcome the difficulties ahead. BGI, as the world's leading genomics company, will bring the solution from the Wuhan City Laboratories in China to Israel and Gaza."
The labs set to be established will be based on the Chinese emergency lab model. At the peak of the pandemic in Wuhan, BGI labs there tested about 50,000 samples of the virus a day.
In total, 357,000 tests were conducted at the emergency labs to identify coronavirus patients from all over China, enabling rapid response time and treatment for patients and even asymptomatic carriers.


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