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BGI Distributes More Than 230K Coronavirus Test Kits

NEW YORK – BGI said Thursday that it has distributed 236,000 donated test kits for 2019-nCoV coronavirus screening to hospitals, local disease control centers, and laboratories across China.

As of Feb. 11, BGI had donated 79,100 tests, the Shenzhen, China-based firm said in a statement. It is one of about 50 companies or charities that have done so. BGI said 15,500 of its tests have gone to Wuhan, the city at the epicenter of the global outbreak, while 26,900 have gone to other cities in Hubei province, and 36,700 to other parts of China.

BGI noted that the Shenzhen Mammoth Public Welfare Foundation, a public-private partnership focused on genomics education and research sponsored by BGI, Vanke Group, and Green Pine Capital Partners, has raised more than RMB 6 million ($858,725) to purchase laboratory equipment for seven labs in Hubei and elsewhere in China, including PCR analyzers and automated sample preparation instruments.

BGI is one of many companies worldwide developing PCR-based test kits for 2019-nCov. The firm said it developed its kit by Jan. 14 and received National Medical Products Administration approval for it on Jan. 26. Earlier this month, BGI and several partners, including the Wuhan municipal government, opened an emergency testing laboratory there, designed to test 10,000 samples per day.

Last week, BGI said it had produced approximately 300,000 tests.