IAEA to support countries in detection of COVID-19

VIENNA,The International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, will provide diagnostic kits, equipment and training in nuclear-derived detection techniques to countries asking for assistance in tackling the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi announced.

The assistance, requested by 14 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, is part of intensified global efforts to contain infections. The diagnostic technique, known as Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), can help detect and identify the novel coronavirus accurately within hours in humans, as well as in animals that may also host it.

“The Agency takes pride in its ability to respond quickly to crises, as we did in the recent past with the Ebola, Zika and African Swine Fever viruses,” said Mr Grossi in a statement to the IAEA Board of Governors. “Contributing to international efforts to deal with the coronavirus will remain a priority for me as long as the outbreak persists.”

The first training course in detection techniques will take place at the Joint IAEA/Food Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, FAO, Animal Production and Health Laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria, in two weeks’ time and will include medical and veterinary experts from Cambodia, Republic of Congo, Cote d´Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Additional regional courses will be organised for other countries, including from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Source: Emirates News Agency