Saudi Arabia and China have signed a SR995 million ($264 million) contract providing nine million tests to diagnose the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) covering nine million people in the Kingdom.
This agreement follows the directives of King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman to immediately provide the necessary equipment, supplies and medications to confront the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) and as a result of the phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The contract includes providing necessary equipment and supplies, making available of 500 Chinese specialists and technicians who are specialized in performing tests, establishing six large regional laboratories in the kingdom.
The arrangement also includes a mobile laboratory with a capacity of performing 10,000 tests per day, in addition to training Saudi cadres, conducting daily tests and comprehensive field tests, and ensuring their quality for eight months.
The contract also includes analyzing the genetic map of a number of samples in Saudi Arabia and analyzing the immune map in the community, covering one million samples.
The contract was co-signed by the National Unified Procurement Company (Nupco) and Chinese genome sequencing company BGI, known as the BGI Group or Beijing Genomics Institute.
The contract was approved by Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Advisor at the Royal Court and representative of Saudi Arabia, and Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing as a representative of the Chinese Government.
This contract is one of the largest contracts that will provide diagnostic tests for the novel Coronavirus. Tests were also purchased from several other companies from the US, Switzerland, and South Korea, bringing the number of targeted tests to 14.5 million tests, covering around 40 percent of the population of Saudi Arabia.
In a press statement, Dr Al Rabeeah, said that these large numbers of tests clearly show that Saudi Arabia is racing time to diagnose and isolate cases in order to reduce the risks of this pandemic.
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