NATION

Molecular Lab Can Now Test Coronavirus Samples

The refurbished lab will test for the virus here rather than shipping samples from blood tests overseas.
12 Mar 2020 09:59
Molecular Lab Can Now Test Coronavirus Samples
Scientific Officer Shalini Singh (right), explains a lab equipment to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama as he tours the newly refurbished Molecular Lab in Tamavua, on March 11, 2020. Photo: DEPTFO News

Test results for coronavirus detection can now be done here and need not be sent to Australia after the opening of the newly-refurbished Molecular Laboratory in Tamavua.

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, opened the facility at the Fiji Centre for Disease Control yesterday.

Mr Bainimarama said the lab was the latest and most advanced measure yet by the Government in its comprehensive COVID-19 Action Plan.

The refurbished lab will test for the virus here rather than shipping samples from blood tests overseas.

This, he said, would save Government’s money and time.

Fiji is the only fourth country in the South Pacific to now have this capability.

The others include the American State of Hawai’i, New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

“For every day Fiji has become COVID-19 free, we have another day to prepare ourselves for the threats it poses in the country,” he said.

“The molecular lab is a culmination of years of hard work to get to this point, the point where we are able to respond to threats of international diseases.

“With the opening of this new molecular lab, we’ll now be able to process up to 20 samples at a time, with results in-hand in as little as six to eight hours.

“Never before in Fijian history has such a comprehensive, nation-wide response plan been implemented so effectively or so quickly. Every time a suspected case of the virus has arisen, it has been tested. All test results to-date have returned negative.”

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama commissions the newly refurbished Molecular Lab in Tamavua, on March 11, 2020. Photo: DEPTFO News

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama commissions the newly refurbished Molecular Lab in Tamavua, on March 11, 2020. Photo: DEPTFO News

Thank you

Mr Bainimarama also praised the COVID-19 preparatory efforts shown by Fijian health officials so far.

“You don’t get anywhere near enough credit for the hours – including sleepless nights – and expertise you’ve given our nation-wide COVID-19 response effort,” he said.

“The facts supporting your good work does not justify the flames of frenzy we’ve seen stoked by the politicians who have been trying to discredit you and your life-saving efforts to protect your fellow Fijians,” the PM said. “My message to you is ‘keep up the good job, and stay diligent’. We will empower you to do what must be done to keep our people safe.”

He said Government had been preparing Fiji for precisely a global crisis like COVID-19.

He reminded Fijians to be responsible in terms of hygiene and keeping the country safe from the COVID-19 harm.

“Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you cough and sneeze.

“Avoid sharing drinking cups –– including bilos and takis (shot glasses), as hard as that may be.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj



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