Sohar, 8 Apr (ONA) —- The regional molecular Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory was inaugurated at Sohar Port and Free Zone in the Governorate of North Al Batinah today under the patronage of Dr. Ahmed Mohammed al-Sa’eedi, Minister of Health.
The PCR laboratory is funded with approximately RO 500,000 in an initiative adopted by Sohar Port and the Free Zone with partnership of 6 major companies in the free zone as a joint venture project under the corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Highlighting the importance of the lab inauguration, Omar Mahmoud al-Mahrizi, CEO of Sohar Freezone, DCEO of Sohar Port said, “We believe that it is a shared responsibility for entities across all sectors, to join hands towards enhancing healthcare services and contribute towards improving the quality of services that are provided to safeguard the well-being of citizens”.
Commenting on the inauguration, Sultan Saif al-Sa’adi, Director General of Health Services in the Governorate of North Al Batinah, said, “With the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across North Al Batinah in the recent weeks, the demand for having testing facilities have also arisen.”
The laboratory will play a vital role in accelerating diagnostic processes to allow for timely treatment, with the average time to conduct tests expected to reduce from 2 weeks to less than 2 days, once operational.
The lab will be equipped with the latest polymerization apparatuses, approved by the Ministry of Health, to conduct the required tests for COVID-19.
The devices are also planned to include analysis capabilities for other ailments, including influenza, hemorrhagic fevers and others in the future.
The tenant companies have contributed to the enhancement of the lab, through the provision of more than 8 of the latest polymerase testing devices. This will enable the lab to conduct 600-800 tests a day, as compared to 80-100 tests currently, in addition to analyzing other infectious diseases, positioning it at the same capacity as the public health centre in Darsait, Muscat. With the opening of the PCR lab, the average time required to perform the tests are expected to decrease to 3 days.