A medical worker in protective suit collects swabs from construction workers for nucleic acid tests following a new outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Beijing. Photo by: cnsphoto via REUTERS
A medical worker in protective suit collects swabs from construction workers for nucleic acid tests following a new outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Beijing. Photo by: cnsphoto via REUTERS

Greater testing capacity bolsters Beijing's fight against epidemic

By Xinhua Time of article published Jun 26, 2020

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To put a sample into the reagent, Qin Tian needs to press the instrument thrice. This set of movements is repeated over 4,000 times a day.

Qin is now busy with the nucleic acid tests in Beijing, and the experience he gained from the testing work in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province previously hit hard by Covid-19, has made him skilled at that.

From June 11 to 24, Beijing reported 269 confirmed domestically transmitted Covid-19 cases, mostly related to the Xinfadi market.

In order to timely assess Covid-19 patients for early isolation and treatment, large-scale nucleic acid testing was conducted in Beijing, putting pressure on testing institutions with the rapid rise of samples.

KingMed Diagnostics, a Chinese medical diagnostic testing company, has become an important part of the team for the nucleic acid testing in Beijing, with its daily testing capacity in the city up to nearly 30,000 cases.

The company's team has successively undertaken testing tasks in provinces including Hubei, Heilongjiang and Jilin during the epidemic, conducting over 8 million nucleic acid tests.

Currently, the daily testing capacity of the company can reach 150,000 cases, said Liang Yaoming, chairman of the firm.

Local hospitals are also improving their testing capacity.

After 48 hours of renovation, the new nucleic acid testing laboratory in the China-Japan Friendship Hospital started operations, ensuring a testing capacity of 3,600 samples per day.

During the peak period, the lab can complete nucleic acid tests on 10,000 samples a day, said Cao Yongtong, a hospital official.

Also, a makeshift unit, including eight sampling rooms and two comprehensive service rooms, for nucleic acid testing was built in the Peking Union Medical College Hospital in three days and nights.

From June 12 to 21, Beijing conducted nucleic acid tests on more than 2.34 million people, according to data provided by municipal health authorities.

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