ADDIS ABABA – China’s BGI Group has commenced producing coronavirus PCR testing kits in Ethiopia on Sunday with a target to satisfy local demand and export to African market.
China’s BGI Group, a leading life science and genomics organization, installed its COVID-19 diagnostic kits facility, the first of its kind in Ethiopia, inside Bole Lemmi Industrial Park.
The company, named as BGI Ethiopia here, plans to fulfill Ethiopia’s domestic demand and export with a priority to African countries, according to company officials.
The factory will also provide commercial laboratory services for a total of 3 million transit passengers at Bole International Airport and in Addis Ababa city, according to the prime minister office of Ethiopia.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has attended the inaugural ceremony of the factory, which officials believe would be key in helping the East African nation’s effort to curb the Covid-19.
“This will boost the testing capacity of Ethiopia and other African countries,” the PM office said.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second populous nation with a population of 107 million, confirmed its first COVID-19 case on March 13.
Since then, the country has conducted over 1, 130, 000 tests and confirmed 63, 888 coronavirus infections including 996 deaths.
After the end of COVID-19 pandemic, the firm plans to switch to the production of other types of nucleic acid detection reagents.
These reagents include AIDS testing kits, tuberculosis nucleic acid test kits and other locally needed RT PCR test kit products.