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Chinese Genomics Company BGI to Provide Ethiopia with Coronavirus Testing Kits Made at African Plant

By Ding Yi / Sep 24, 2020 05:25 PM / World

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese genomics company BGI Group has put into operation a factory it built in Ethiopia to produce coronavirus testing kits for local people as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe, according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency.

The $5 million plant, which is the first coronavirus testing kit production facility in Ethiopia, is designed to be able to make 6-8 million tests a year, and can enhance its annual capacity to up to 10 million if needed, Xinhua reported, citing Chen Songheng, general manager of BGI Ethiopia.

Ethiopia’s health ministry has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million coronavirus testing kits from the factory in three batches, with the first batch of 500,000 testing kits to be delivered on October 15, the report said, adding that the plant would switch to making testing kits for diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis and export them to other African countries when the pandemic ends.

BGI has pitched in to support China’s battle against the coronavirus since the Covid-19 outbreak first emerged in Wuhan. The company has also expanded its services to overseas markets, saying that it has supplied testing kits to 35 million people outside China by the end of June.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Gene Giant BGI Profit Jumps Seven-Fold on Virus-Testing Surge


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