Latvia launches automated virus testing station

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Riga | Latvia has launched an automated coronavirus screening system, possibly the world’s first, which can operate around the clock and virtually eliminates the risk of contamination between its users.

• Read also: [EN DIRECT 16 DÉCEMBRE 2020] All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

The Pauls Stradins University Hospital in Riga, installed this system, in the form of a large blue dispenser about two meters high and one meter wide, at the entrance of one of its main buildings.

Created by three companies based in Riga, this screening station is initially intended to test hospital staff but its authors intend to manufacture more to serve other institutions in the capital and rural areas where access to tests remains. limit.

“People who may be infected can avoid contact with medical staff or with other employees of the hospital or our laboratories, thus eliminating the risk of allowing the infection to spread inadvertently,” he told the ‘AFP Didzis Gavars, head of laboratories E. Gulbja, one of the developers of the system.

Considered the first of its kind, the station, which looks like a newsstand, offers PCR tests that detect RNA from the coronavirus.

Running relentlessly, it is easy to access which could encourage more people to come and take its test, said Gavars, demonstrating how the station works.

Installed inside, a robot gives a coronavirus test to the user then collects the samples before storing them for analysis.

Through a plexiglass window the user can observe the whole process. A remote control option allows laboratory technicians to assist.

People receive test results by email within 24 hours.

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