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首页 About News Center BGI News Close friends stand together through thick and thin ——BGI to assist Serbian government to build two ...

Close friends stand together through thick and thin ——BGI to assist Serbian government to build two "Huo-Yan" laboratories to help fight pandemic

Release date:2020/04/13 Views:

On April 8th, a live video link connected Serbia and three cities in China for a special online signing ceremony.

The Serbian government and BGI signed an agreement entrusting BGI to build two "Huo-Yan" (“Fire Eye”) COVID-19 testing labs in Serbia, one in the capital city of Belgrade and another the southern city of Nis. The labs will add a combined daily testing capacity of 3,000 to Serbia, which will significantly improve the detection capacity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and help Serbia fight the epidemic.

The Huo-Yan laboratory in Belgrade will be built in the National Medical Center of Serbia. Construction has begun and the instruments are being installed. The Serbian government will send a special chartered plane to China to carry BGI's experts and equipment.

Online signing ceremony in Belgrade (Source: Prime Minister's Office of Serbia)

Online signing ceremony in BGI, Shenzhen

Serbian Minister of Agriculture Branislav Nadimovich (right) signed agreement with Mammoth Foundation and BGI.

The Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić (center) and the Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo (left) witnessed the signing ceremony.

(Source: Prime Minister's Office of Serbia)

Mammoth Foundation Secretary-General Zhu Yanmei (first left) and BGI Group Vice President Li Ning (first right) signed an agreement with the Serbian side.

Co-Chairman of BGI Group, Executive Chairman of Mammoth Foundation Wang Shi (second from left), Co-founder and Chief of Supervisor Liu Siqi (second from right) witnessed the signing ceremony.

At the ceremony, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić said, "On behalf of the Serbian government, I would like to thank China for the friendship and selfless donation. I would like to thank China, the Chinese people, and President Xi Jinping, the Chinese Embassy in Serbia, BGI and Mammoth Foundation, Tencent and Zijin Mining. Thank you for everything you have done for the Serbian people at this difficult time. From the first day of Serbia's fight against the epidemic, we have received support and assistance from China in terms of valuable supplies, experts, technology, and experience. We can say that without the help of China, Serbia will not be able to overcome the epidemic. The two laboratories to be constructed this time will be in Belgrade and Nis, with state-of-the-art technology, which will greatly improve the detection capacity. They will play an important role in fighting the epidemic, and contributing to the Serbian-Chinese friendship. We sincerely invite Chinese friends to experience the love and gratitude of the Serbian people to the Chinese people after the epidemic.

Chen Bo, Chinese Ambassador to Serbia, said: "Thanks to the Serbian government and Prime Minister Brnabić for their trust in Chinese companies and Chinese technology. And thanks to BGI, the Mammoth Foundation, Tencent, and Zijin Mining for their efforts to promote friendship between the two countries. I am sure that the construction of these laboratories will strengthen the testing capacities and will play a significant role in Serbia's fight against the virus. The embassy will help both the Serbian and Chinese sides to have these laboratories constructed as soon as possible. I firmly believe that after the outbreak, BGI, Mammoth Foundation and Tencent will work with Serbian partners to find more new cooperation opportunities. "

(Online) Signing contract

Top left: Tencent conference venue, Beijing

Top right: BGI conference venue, Shenzhen

Bottom left: Belgrade conference venue

Bottom right: BGI Chairman Wang Jian joined the conference online in Changsha

Wang Jian, co-founder and chairman of BGI, joined the online signing ceremony through video link. Wang Jian said, "From my experience in Wuhan, virus detection is essential for the early control of the epidemic, which can effectively prevent delays in treatment and reduce public panic and social chaos. Cooperating with Serbia, we are very glad to build a high-throughput virus detection platform, which will help Serbia prevent and control the epidemic."

"The Huo-Yan laboratory is an integrated solution. In addition to SARS-CoV-2 detection technology, it can also have antibody detection and high-throughput sequencing technology, used in conjunction with nucleic acid detection. Not only can the samples be screened for whether they are infected with viruses, but the lab can also effectively promote the research of virus tracking and monitoring of possible mutations."

At the ceremony, the Mammoth Foundation and the Serbian government signed an agreement, donating the upgraded Huo-Yan laboratory to the Serbian government on behalf of the Mammoth Foundation, Tencent and the founders of BGI Group.

Wang Shi, co-chairman of BGI Group and executive chairman of the Mammoth Foundation, said, "We believe that the Serbian people will eventually overcome the epidemic, and we also believe that today's action is crucial. We build high-throughput virus testing laboratories to conduct more COVID-19 tests for Serbian people, so that asymptomatic people no longer have to worry, and infected people could get the best treatment. "

Guo Kaitian, senior vice president of Tencent and chairman of the Tencent Charity Foundation, said, "It is an honor for Tencent to do something to help Serbia with BGI and Mammoth Foundation. As a technology company, we have always insisted on Value for Users, Tech for Good, and we hope to help more people through the power of technology. At this difficult time, we meet through video conference, and we wish everyone health and safety. " Due to the epidemic, the ceremony was supported by Tencent VooV videoconferencing. Zijin Mining also supports this laboratory construction project through donations.

Huo-Yan instruments and equipment for Serbia are waiting to be shipped in Shenzhen

Nucleic acid testing is the gold standard for diagnosis of COVID-19, recommended by the World Health Organization and China's National Health Commission. The lack of laboratory testing capabilities is often the bottleneck that limits the efficiency of COVID-19 diagnosis. In early February, with the support of the Wuhan Municipal Government, BGI built the Huo-Yan laboratory in just five days, with a daily detection capacity of up to 20,000 tests, which contributed to the fight against the epidemic in Wuhan. In addition to Wuhan, Huo-Yan laboratories were put into operation more than 10 cities in China. Recently, Huo-Yan laboratories were built and opened in the United Arab Emirates and Brunei, and the key equipment of the Huo-Yan laboratory was sent to labs in the United States and Sweden to help to scale up testing capacity. BGI is discussing the construction of Huo-Yan laboratories with governments or partners in more than 10 countries. It is playing an increasingly important role in the fight against the epidemic.

Wuhan "Huo-Yan" laboratory, with daily throughput of 20,000 testing

The first foreign supplies Serbia received to fight the epidemic were SARS-CoV-2 test kits developed and produced by BGI. On the night of March 15, a batch of BGI's SARS-CoV-2 test kits donated by the Mammoth Foundation arrived in Serbia. Serbian President Vučić and Prime Minister Brnabić issued an official statement on behalf of the Serbian government through the media, expressing heartfelt thanks to China and the Chinese people, and highly affirming the BGI and the Mammoth Foundation.

BGI’s test kits donated by Mammoth Foundation arrived in Belgrade.

BGI’s Real-Time Fluorescent RT-PCR Kit for Detecting SARS-CoV-2was among the first batch of anti-epidemic products to receive  China’s NMPA emergency approval. It was the first such test produced by a Chinese company to receive the US FDA EUA certification and Japan PMDA certification and has also obtained the EU CE IVD qualification.