Covid-19: Fiocruz expands national testing capacity - Fiotec

Since the confirmation of the first cases of Covid-19, Fiocruz, an institution linked to the Ministry of Health, has been working to provide responses in different areas. After developing molecular tests to detect the disease and progressively increasing their production scale, the Foundation now begins the operation of one more Unit for Supporting the Diagnostic of Covid-19 (click here for a virtual tour of the Unit). The initiative is part of the strategy to support the Central Laboratories of Public Health (Lacen) and to expand the national capacity of sample processing, a fundamental action for the epidemiological surveillance of the virus and for facing the pandemic.

During a visit to the unit, Fiocruz president, Nísia Trindade Lima, reinforced the institution's commitment to the fight against the pandemic with public health actions focused on strengthening the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS) and the critical scientific and technological basis for this development. "Testing is crutial in all phases of the pandemic control, and Fiocruz's goal is to add its skills and contribute in this very delicate moment. We have sought to be part of the response to the humanitarian crisis that we have been living since the beginning of the pandemic. Our 120-year tradition and our presence in all regions of Brazil allow us to contribute with the Ministry of Health in the national testing strategy", she stressed.

The interim Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello, emphasized the importance of surveillance in health and epidemiology for the early treatment of Covid-19. "We are all revising our protocols on a daily basis in a search for what can be improved and changing what is not working. Diagnosis and testing are the basis of early treatment. It is from this standpoint that Fiocruz takes another step in its internal structure, which will continue after the pandemic, with the Supporting Unit for the Diagnosis of Covid-19."

With potential to process up to 15,000 molecular tests per day, the new unit is located at the headquarters of the Foundation, in Rio de Janeiro, and has had its structure and equipment financed by the Todos pela Saúde Initiative. "We know the importance of testing, epidemiological management and the context of this moment. It is a great pleasure to take part in this initiative that demonstrates Itaú's commitment to Brazil. It is important to highlight that the project is a legacy that can be used in the future, not only for this pandemic, but for other challenges in the field of public health", said the vice-president of the Itaú Bank and representative of the bank at the Steering Committee of the Todos pela Saúde Initiative, Claudia Politanski. The entire operation will be funded by the Brazil's Ministry of Health.