Shanxi enhances COVID-19 nucleic acid test capabilities


North China's Shanxi province has moved to ramp up its COVID-19 virus nucleic acid tests with routine and flexible testing that has been improved in terms of both quality and efficiency, according to a statement released on Nov 25 by the Shanxi Health Commission.

To date, 198 medical institutions, centers for disease control and prevention and third-party laboratories across the province have been conducting testing.

The province has introduced 285 nucleic acid amplifiers, 276 nucleic acid extractors and 226 sets of biological safety cabinets. The maximum daily inspection capacity has now reached 148,991 samples, which can basically meet all daily routine inspection needs. 

In terms of flexible testing, the Shanxi Health Commission has moved up construction of six mobile public testing laboratories -- each able to undertake 10,000 samples daily in Taiyuan, Datong, Linfen, Changzhi and Yuncheng cities -- to further ensure potential regional outbreaks can be contained. 

To enhance nucleic acid testing capabilities, cities across the province have added equipment for testing and optimized their testing procedures.

The Fourth People's Hospital of Taiyuan, for example, can now complete over 4,400 nucleic acid test samples a day -- an exponential increase on the 200 samples per day it was able to perform at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak -- and the testing time has been shortened to 45 minutes.