Category: EU COVID 19 NEWS

EU sends Covid-19 test accuracy material to South Africa

The European Union (EU) Joint Research Centre has sent a consignment of control material, which allows laboratories to check the correct functioning of their Covid-19 tests and avoid false negatives, to South Africa.

The EU Joint Research Centre developed the control material at its laboratories in Geel, Belgium, in support of global efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“As the pandemic sweeps across South Africa, it is critical for medical staff, policy makers and the public at large to be able to fully rely on test data to facilitate timely interventions and action. This small, but hugely useful contribution to South Africa’s efforts to manage the spread of the disease is an expression of our strategic partnership,” says EU Ambassador to South Africa Dr Riina Kionka.

The control material will be sent to 22 laboratories throughout South Africa.

It will enable researchers to carry out thousands of controls to ensure the efficiency of the Covid-19 tests used in the country.

“This has been an extraordinary time in history for laboratory testing in South Africa. Assay validations for Covid-19 and the rapid implementation of testing platforms thereafter, have had to be conducted at an unprecedented speed,” National Health Laboratory Service national priority programmes director Professor Wendy Stevens comments.

“The complexity of molecular testing is frequently not understood and, thus, the provision of standardised quality control material by colleagues from the EU is both timeous and will provide us with much-needed reassurance that we are not releasing poor quality assays into the field,” she adds.

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Originally posted on engineeringnews.co.za on 24 July 2020
Author : Schalk Burger  – Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor

Edited by: Chanel De Bruyn – Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

European Commission

EU and Africa step up research cooperation to combat coronavirus outbreak | European Commission

The European Union is stepping up its research and innovation cooperation with Africa in order to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) is launching calls for expressions of interest to support research on the coronavirus and strengthen research capacities in sub-Saharan Africa. Three calls in total will be funded with up to €28 million from Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.

The first call, with a budget of €2.25 million from Horizon 2020, with additional €1.5 million from Sweden and €1.0 from France has been launched on 3 April. It will fund research into coronavirus pandemic preparedness in sub-Saharan Africa, to develop point-of-care diagnostics and validate existing tests. They will also support clinical management by running controlled trials for diagnostics and therapeutics of promising agents.

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Belgium

Innovation in Flanders to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus or its derived effects

In the last weeks we have seen in Flanders numerous initiatives to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, many of them arising bottom-up, often in collaboration with European partnerships that received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Everywhere in the region, research groups, as well as companies, have reallocated budgets to address different issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Flemish universities and their experts play a crucial role in the guidance and decision-making of this unseen crisis. This is particularly challenging, as the virus is new and its pathophysiology, the epidemiology and social impact need to be better understood to develop better diagnostics, vaccines, treatments and interventions.

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