First BGI Huo-Yan Laboratory in ASEAN Starts Operation

BRUNEI, April 2, 2020 –The Huo-Yan Laboratory, an emergency test laboratory constructed by BGI and designed to handle 1,000 samples daily to detect 2019-nCoV, officially started operation in Brunei. It is the first BGI Huo-Yan Lab built in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

BGI Genomics, a global leader in sequencing services, has provided its RT-PCR kit for detecting SARS-CoV-2 and MGI has contributed its MGISP-960 automated sample preparation equipment along with viral RNA extraction reagent to enable the rapid diagnosis of new coronavirus cases in the country.

The Brunei Huo-Yan Lab was constructed from the ground up as a standalone building next to the existing Ministry of Health Virology lab, and near to the country’s main hospital (RIPAS). The building itself took less than 14 days from planning to completion.

“We are very grateful that BGI has supported us on setting up the Huo-Yan Laboratory, which will increase our current testing capacity by roughly 4-fold. The BGI team’s hard work impressed me a lot,” said Brunei Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Hj Md Isham bin Hj Jaafar.

BGI Genomics’ Real-Time Fluorescent RT-PCR Kit for Detecting SARS-2019-nCoV, the virus which causes COVID-19, has been used to diagnose more than 1 million individuals and is currently being distributed to more than 70 countries and regions. BGI’s technology has been deployed on the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus in China, and the company aims to bring its experience and testing capability at scale to speed detection efforts across the world.

BGI and Brunei Ministry of Health held a soft opening on March 30 and presented the keys to the Minister of Health Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Dr. Hj Md Isham bin Hj Jaafar. The Ministry of Health’s staff will take over operation and begin sample testing on the April 1.

Dr Zainun, Head of the Brunei National Virology Reference Laboratory together with YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham, Minister of Health are visiting Brunei Huo Yan Laboratory

BGI presents the key to the Brunei Minister of Health YB Dato Dr Hj Md Isham

About BGI Huo-Yan Laboratory

Huo-Yan Laboratories, emergency test labs set up and run by Shenzhen-based BGI through cooperation with governments in Wuhan, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Changsha, Shijiazhuang, Beijing and Wuxi, are providing support for medical professionals to rapidly diagnose patients, screen high risk groups, isolate positive infections and discharge recovered patients in China. The Huo-Yan laboratory has been replicated in 12 other major cities across the country.

BGI is actively sharing the experience accumulated in the process of epidemic prevention and control to help promote Huo-Yan Labs in more countries and regions, to improve local capacity to respond to the global pandemic.

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