Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation handed over the first COVID-19 automated laboratory complex

The first module laboratory complex for prompt and high-accuracy PCR screening of population for coronavirus was launched in the capital. The unique mobile laboratory having high-level biosafety and process automation was handed over gratuitously by the Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Akimat of Nur-Sultan City.

The charitable organization purchased two laboratory complexes to the total amount of USD 4 mln from BGI Company (PRC), the world leader in medical investigations, manufacture of equipment and consumables for laboratory tests. Installation of the second analogous complex has started in Almaty City. 

Yelzhan Birtanov, Minister of Health, Altai Kulginov, Akim of Nur-Sultan City, Bulat Utemuratov, founder of the charitable organization, and Almaz Sharman, Chairman of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, have launched the capital laboratory. 

“The Ministry of Health puts out considerable efforts to constrain COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic in the country. Large human and financial resources have been mobilized for this purpose. Business also step in and use actively all its potential for the fastest liquidation of the infection and return to normal stable life. Thanks to assistance of the Bulat Utemuratov's Foundation, Kazakhstan is among the first countries, where up-to-date, mobile laboratory complexes Huo-Yan have been deployed for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) diagnostics of the coronavirus disease.
It is necessary to note that such laboratories allow increasing the capacity and potential of the laboratory service as well as they will increase the speed of tests. Qualified virologists of the branches of the National Center of Expertise will be involved in work of the laboratories; they have been trained by the specialists of BGI Company arrived from the Chinese Peoples Republic”, said Mr. Yelzhan Birtanov, Minister of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The laboratory will carry out free screening for the following categories of population: unemployed, low-income and large families, disabled persons, patients in case of planned hospitalization, patients 50 years and older being under case follow-up in connection with diseases of respiration organs, endocrine and heart-vascular systems; persons involved in epidemiological response, i.e. employees of akimates, volunteers and activists, patrolmen; citizens in pensioner houses, orphanage and other special institutions; employees of preschool facilities.
The laboratory is fully equipped for the full PCR test cycle. The whole complex consists of 42 items of high-tech equipment and sets of tools for collection, storage and labelling of biological materials, and for check study by polymerase chain reaction method. The check study process is fully automated that allows conducting prompt test to high precision and with participation of fewer specialists. The laboratory capacity is 1000 tests per day with potential up to 5000 tests; a test result is prepared within three hours. The Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation has completed each laboratory with the sets of necessary reagents for 30 th. tests for immediate work. 

The air-inflated structure of the complex consists of three inflatable cylindrical modules (membranes) with autonomous system of internal ventilation and air filtration. The system provides high level of biological safety, which is not always achievable even in fixed-site laboratories, and meets the World Health Organization’s requirements. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, the complex is installed inside a premise for enhanced stability and safety. The Kazakhstan Sports Complex is selected as the place for installation of the laboratory in Nur-Sultan, and one of pavilions of the Atakent Exhibition Center is selected in Almaty. In case of necessity, dislocation of the laboratory may be changed during one week. 
“One of main purposes is detection of COVID-19 diseased as many as possible, this is because, as evidenced in practice, there are also asymptomatic patients.  While as of the beginning of the quarantine only 1 laboratory had worked in the city, now there are 6 laboratories and more two laboratories will be opened in the nearest time. The laboratory complex for PCR screening, which has been transferred by the Bulat Utemuratov’ Foundation, will allow increasing yet more the number of tests: early detected patients will get timely medical aid and the number of exposed persons will decrease. I express thanks for the assistance”, said Mr. Altai Kulginov, Akim of the capital.

The laboratory complexes manufactured by BGI are currently supplied to many countries of Asia and Europe. A comprehensive solution is aimed to meet the worldwide urgent need for creating the infrastructure for mass screening for coronavirus. The new development was first introduced two months ago in Shenzhen (PRC), where BGI’s headquarter is located. 
“Mobile complexes will work free of charge for sensitive categories of people who cannot afford to pass a test for coronavirus in commercial laboratories. It will help extend screening, detect the disease at early stages, decrease the risk of complications and restrict virus transmission. Therefore, we will cope with the infection and stop it by joined efforts of the state, business and society”, noted Mr. Marat Aitmagambetov, Director of the Bulat Utemuratov's Foundation. 
Earlier, the Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation, the first in Kazakhstan, delivered 94 thousand rapid tests for 200 million Tenge to the country and transferred them to the Ministry of Health. In addition to supporting the government coronavirus screening program, Mr. Bulat Utemuratov transferred 1 million USD through Verny Capital Group of Companies to the Birgemiz Public Foundation, which was created on the initiative of the First President, Yelbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, to prevent the coronavirus and support socially vulnerable population groups.  

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