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Chinese foundation donates two COVID-19 testing labs to Serbia

Source: Xinhua | 2020-04-10

SHENZHEN, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese biotech company BGI Group is ready to deliver equipment for building two COVID-19 testing labs in Serbia to help the country's fight against the pandemic, according to the company's headquarters in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province Thursday.

The two new labs are expected to add a combined daily testing capacity of 3,000 samples to greatly enhance the country's diagnosis capability.

BGI-developed Huoyan (Fire Eye) Lab has been used in Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in China.

Mammoth Foundation, a charity group in Shenzhen, signed the donation agreement with the Serbian government on an online ceremony on Wednesday, on behalf of Chinese firms including BGI, Tencent and Zijin Mining.

Serbia will be the first European country to land BGI's coronavirus testing lab. The national medical center in Belgrade will host one of the Fire Eye Lab. The other lab will be located in the southern city of Nis.

Wang Jian, founder and chairman of BGI, said the experience of Wuhan shows that testing capacity is crucial in the early control of the epidemic.

"We are happy to build the virus detection platforms to help Serbia in the prevention and control of the epidemic," said Wang.

The Fire Eye labs have been recently put into operation in the United Arab Emirates and Brunei, BGI sources said, adding the company is in talks with 10 governments or partners for the building of more labs.