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With today's opening of a molecular biology laboratory in Roberto Rodríguez Hospital, in Morón, Ciego de Ávila, Cuba now boasts 12 facilities of this kind to process samples for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with three others being prepared in Holguín, Matanzas, and Isla de la Juventud.
José Ángel Portal Miranda, Cuban Minister of Public Health, highlighted during an inauguration ceremony the importance of this facility, both for the province itself and the neighboring territories, and the samples' processing for all the tourists who arrive in northern areas.
He highlighted the quality and value of the installed technology, as well as the preparation of the personnel, which allows having much faster diagnoses and opens treatment opportunities, both for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Portal Miranda praised the design and characteristics of the construction and urged to ensure the quality of processes and biosafety protocols for the protection of workers.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Vivian Kourí, vice-director of the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), recalled how, given the increase in positive cases of SARS-CoV-2, new laboratories were set up both in the country's capital and in other provinces.
She specified that experts would lead the training of the personnel working in the Ciego de Avila laboratory from the IPK and Villa Clara. She stated that Friday, the first 40 samples were processed, which will be progressively increased.
"With the presence of Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda and local authorities, a new molecular biology laboratory is inaugurated in Ciego de Avila."
Tatiana Artiles Herrera, a specialist in clinical laboratory sciences in charge of the facility, explained that initially, they would process the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests samples coming from the isolation centers of Ciego de Avila province.
She explained that with the incorporation, in the next few days of automated extraction equipment, the number of PCR processing will be increased, with samples coming from other nearby provinces.
The inauguration of the center was attended by Carlos Luis Garrido Pérez and Tomás Alexis Venegas, president and vice-president, respectively, of Ciego de Avila's Provincial Defense Council.