• Melo Acuna

Philippines-China-Asian Development Bank partnership leads to Huo-Yan Laboratory

BGI’s Huo-Yan laboratory launched in the Philippines

MANILA – The first Molecular and Diagnostic Pathology laboratory, developed by the China-based BGI Company was launched at the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga last Saturday, May 9,2020.

The inauguration was witnessed by Minister Counselor Tan Qingsheng, Deputy Chief of the Chinese Embassy in Manila, representing Ambassador Huang Xilian, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexie Nograles, Asian Development Bank Vice President Ahmed Saeed, local government officials and medical center chiefs.

In a statement released by the Chinese Embassy in Manila, it reported Minister Tan hailed the completion of the laboratory and thanked the Philippine government and the Asian Development Bank for the valuable trust in Chinese enterprise and technology.

He added large-scale detection is crucial to contain the virus, referring to COVID-19. The Huo-Yan laboratory, developed by the BGI Company, has played an important role in the anti-pandemic work in Wuhan.

It was learned the Huo-Yan laboratories have been exported to dozens of countries including Australia, Italy, France and Sweden among others. With the facility, they can attend to 3,000 samples for testing per day which will significantly add to the detection capacity of the country and help to pave the way for gradual resumption of work and normal life at the earliest.

Minister Tan said viruses do not respect borders and humanity is a community with a shared future. With unity and cooperation, existing challenges could be met easily.

The completion of the laboratory is the result of the joint cooperation between governments, international institutions an enterprises and enterprises, which served as a good model for regional and international cooperation to fight the virus.

China has taken part in bilateral and multilateral cooperation to fight the pandemic in an open, transparent and responsible way.

Minister Tan said China and the Philippines have been helping each other and the Philippine government and people “have generously assisted China in its fight against the pandemic. The Chinese government and people donated medical supplies worth tens of millions US dollars to the Philippines. Just last month, a twelve-member Chinese medical experts team spent two weeks to share the hard-won experiences with Filipino counterparts. China has also issued special permits and extended assistance to the Philippine military aircrafts and vessels to China to ferry huge amounts of medical supplies earlier bought from China.

A “Goodwill Flight” to Manila was arranged by the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines to help transport medical supplies as well.

Meanwhile, at the same event, Health Secretary Duque said the laboratory’s completion is significant because it is one of the country’s objectives to increase its testing capacity.

“We will be able to detect early and identify people with COVID-19 early,” he said. Along with quicker interventions, the quicker they can isolate the and the quicker the quarantine the better for those exposed.

He further said the cooperation between China and the Philippines has been superb. The laboratory, he said, is a booster and part of confidence-building measures.

Cabinet Secretary Nograles said the government is thankful to China for allowing the country to access the latest technology.

“It’s very important for us to really take control of what’s happening in terms of controlling the pandemic,” he added.

It was last March when the Asian Development Bank (ADB) issued its plan to enhance the capability of its Member States to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and introduced BGI’s Huo-Yan Laboratory Solution into the Philippines.

The Huo-Yan Laboratory has been introduced to more than 20 countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. (Melo M. Acuña)

Sourced from Chinese Embassy in Manila's Facebook page.

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