Angola signs contract of using Chinese Huoyan laboratory in combating COVID-19

The Angolan government and China Shenzhen BGI Group held an online contract signing ceremony on Thursday to boost the southern African country’s COVID-19 detection capacity.

Angola will entrust BGI with the construction of five Huoyan, or Fire Eye, laboratories for the detection of novel coronavirus across the country, with a total daily detection capacity of 6,000 samples.

Angola’s Foreign Minister Tete Antonio said at the event that the agreement signed will not only give Angola the necessary virus detection capacity but will also help Angolans to learn advanced technology.

Angola’s Minister of Health Silvia Lutucuta said she thanks China for providing assistance in fighting the epidemic, adding that Angola and other countries in the world have learned a lot from China’s experience in fighting the epidemic.

“Detection capacity is the basis for the formulation of prevention and control policies, and Angola needs to continue to improve large-scale detection capabilities. Angola decided to entrust the Chinese company BGI with the construction of five laboratories, which will create a new period of opportunity to prevent and control the epidemic.” she said.

According to Yang Huanming, co-founder of the BGI Group and chairman of the BGI Board Gene, the BGI Huoyan laboratory has played an important role in the practice of anti-epidemic diseases in China and around the world and has proven to be very effective.

Yang added that Huoyan laboratory made by BGI is equipped with automated equipment for the extraction of high-performance nucleic acids to improve the efficiency of large-scale detection. Currently, the automation equipment has been shipped to more than 30 countries and regions around the world.

Under the cooperation agreement, BGI will build five new laboratories in Angola, including a greenhouse laboratory, which are expected to increase the country’s national testing capacity by ten times.