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Kenya unveils 30 new Covid-19 testing centres

By , People Daily Digital
Friday, September 17th, 2021 00:01 | < 1 min read
Health CS Mutahi Kagwe.Photo/PD

Kenya’s laboratory testing capacity to deal with highly infectious diseases yesterday received a boost when the government unveiled various centres for virus research at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri).

This is even as coronavirus remains a global puzzle since its outbreak early last year.

Health CS, Mutahi Kagwe commissioned 30 newly renovated centres for virus; biotechnology, microbiology, traditional medicines and drugs research under the US Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)/Cooperative Biological Engagement Programme (CBEP) Collaborative Project.

This, according to the CS sets the stage for the country’s preparedness to deal with current and future infectious dis- ease outbreaks.

“The commissioning of these laboratories increases Kenya’s ability to comply with the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and the Biological Weapons Con- vention,” Kagwe said.

This is in addition to biosafety and biosecurity requirements the laboratories provide for researchers’ safety, especially from laboratory acquired infections.

The laboratories, Kagwe said, are also significant in protecting the public from accidental or intentional exposure to infectious disease agents. The CS acknowledged the swift response to Covid-19 during its outbreak last year was aided by the facilities at the Kemri.

“From supporting the Covid-19 national surveillance programme; sample collection, processing, storage and management to biotechnological support, the facilities have also facilitated in the creation of new diagnostic tools, genetic engineering and Covid-19 sequencing,” Kagwe said.

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