Colombia became the first South American country to have PCR tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 which, in addition to the diagnosis, also shows what type of variant is present, all this in only an hour and a half.
The delivery was made thanks to a donation from Germany, through the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Ministry of International Cooperation of the European country, together with the Charité University Hospital of Berlin. The ceremony held at the headquarters of the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was attended by the UIS Rector, Hernán Porras Díaz, accompanied by Professor Bladimiro Rincón Orozco, Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics of Infectious Diseases and Cancer of the UIS.
“This donation is unique in South America, no other country in the region has this type of test. They have already been delivered to the Ministry of Health and through the National Health Institute (INS) they will be distributed to institutions throughout the country that have the technical and scientific capacity to be able to process this type of tests, which will benefit the entire Colombian community,” said Rincón Orozco.
Once they are distributed by INS, they will be used by the people who need them to continue monitoring the omicron, delta, mu and lambda variants.
This work has been developed from the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics of Infectious Diseases and Cancer, where thanks to the work of UIS scientists, integrated with the epidemiological data generated by the Public Health Laboratory of Santander and Norte de Santander, epidemiological strategies and pandemic containment mechanisms, such as vaccination, have been refined.
“I am in admiration of this country’s capacity for scientific exchange, with the leadership of the INS and the Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social. Colombia is also doing something fantastic to support the health of the migrant population,” said Felix Drexler, virologist and professor at Charité University Hospital. According to the INS, there are currently 200 PCR laboratories in Colombia operating under the Berlin protocol, the name given to this protocol in the world.