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Taunggyi COVID-19 lab to start testing in July, Mandalay constructs new virus testing lab

A COVID-19 laboratory in Taunggyi, Shan State, will be ready for testing in the first week of July, while a new Public Health Laboratory (PHL) is underway for construction in Mandalay.

“We expect to start the first lab test for COVID-19 in Taunggyi in early July, but for Lashio,” said Dr Thuzar Chit, deputy director general of the Department of Public Health, Southern Shan State.

The lab will be able to carry out 300 tests daily, she added.

Meanwhile in Mandalay, a new international standard laboratory is under construction on 66th street and 35th street. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 19 and attended by the regional chief minister.

News Starlight Company is handling the construction of the new lab which is expected to take at least three months.

“It is a bio safety level 2+ laboratory so architectural design needs to be in compliance with international standards,” said U Min Swe, the person responsible for drawing up the lab’s architecture and planning.

The Mandalay PHL can test COVID-19 as well as other diseases. This will provide more assistance for Upper Myanmar. The lab will be located in a half- storey building with about K1 billion funded by the Fund Raising Committee for Mandalay Urban Development.

Currently, testing for COVID-19 is being carried out at PHL Mandalay, the National Health Laboratory (NHL) in Yangon, PHL in Mawlamyine and No 2 Military 100-bed Hospital in Nay Pyi Taw.

At the Yangon’s lab, a Swiss machine donated by AA Medical Group commenced testing since May 1.

The NHL in Yangon tests an average over 1100 samples, including over 600 samples from Swiss machine daily.

The Mandalay PHL started testing on June 1 and the Mawlamyine Public Health Laboratory started testing on June 4. Mandalay PHL tested an estimate of over 200 samples daily and Mawlamyine lab tested over 100 per day.

So far, a total of about 58,000 people been tested for COVID-19 since the first lab test for the disease was carried out in the country on May 20. Currently, the number of COVID-19 positive cases have risen to 287, with a single-day record of 23 Myanmar citizens returning from overseas testing positive.

“The most recent COVID-19 cases have been detected among returnees from overseas who failed to follow the necessary healthcare rules. We don’t need to put the blame on anyone, but it’s important for us to stay diligent in preventing it from spreading,” State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said on her social media page on June 20. “We must not be undisciplined. We haven’t eradicated COVID-19 yet. We’re still trying to control its spread.”

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Source : Myanmar Times

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