Medical, high-tech firms join battle to boost testing capacity

Zhu Shenshen
As more firms are approved, sampling and testing will get quicker, waiting times shorter and the capacity for large-scale testing improved.
Zhu Shenshen

More Shanghai firms have joined the nucleic acid testing program to meet surging demand, which will expand testing capacity citywide and cut waiting time for sampling and results, local officials said on Thursday.

Several Shanghai-based medical and high-tech firms have applied for sampling and testing service qualifications.

They are expanding capacity for nucleic acid testing, a key strategy for pandemic prevention and control in Shanghai and China, in the city's high-tech and industrial zones like Caohejing and Beauty Valley.The Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization will help them expand or apply for required approvals and qualifications quickly, the commission said.

In the Beauty Valley industrial zone in Fengxian District, three firms have applied to offer nucleic acid sampling and testing services.

For example, STDL Bio can deal with sampling for 100,000 people after it received approval on Wednesday. Another two firms are in the process of applying and are expected to get approval as early as next week, said Zhu Liang, vice general manager of Beauty Valley.

Medical, high-tech firms join battle to boost testing capacity
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Nucleic acid test is being stepped up across Shanghai.

The commission has helped applicants solve problems of medical waste, connection with Shanghai's official Health Cloud system and sampling site set-up or expansion, as part of the requirements for the applications.

Also in the zone, Biogerm has begun working 24-hours a day recently, which ensures it can provide test results within six hours.

In Pujiang park in the Caohejing Development Zone, Liferiver has developed a nucleic acid test vehicle and automatic testing system. It has expanded capacity, working 24 hours a day to expand the capacity of nucleic acid detection reagents to 2 million units a day.

During the China International Import Expo last year, Liferiver showcased its nucleic testing vehicle. It can complete the whole process of sampling and testing automatically to reduce the pressure on medical inspections.

Working with the commission, the company hopes to get approval to establish a new nucleic acid testing lab soon -- with a capacity of completing 30,000 nucleic acid tests every day.

Shanghai's strategies for the battle against the pandemic include rolling screening, locking down key areas and controlling community-level spread.

Massive nucleic acid testing plays an important role, especially for finding asymptomatic patients.

More than 30 million nucleic acid tests were conducted in Shanghai between Wednesday and Sunday.

Sometimes, limited capacity and resources has forced people who stay locked down in communities stand in long queues and spend more time for waiting results.

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