The Belgian Taskforce to combat Covid-19 has taken off! Cerba Research and sister company, CRI, have engaged to be a vital part of the government-led consortium, alongside PPD, JnJ, GSK, Biogazelle, UCB ULiège, Sciensano, ThermoFisher, UgenTec and MIPS. Together, we will work to upscale Covid-19 testing in Belgium.
Led by Federal Minister Philippe De Backer, the members of the task force will work to increase testing against Covid-19, an important tool in tackling the further spread of the virus, in order to flatten the curve. Cerba Research, the central lab division, with its Headquarters in Ghent, Belgium, is providing the logistical support and organization for this project and this way plays a pivotal role in the delivery of patient samples to pharma and academia for Covid-19 testing. We are very grateful to be part of this consortium and wish to thank all the other members for the seamless collaboration for this ambitious project. Speed and efficiency were of the essence, as the project only started few weeks ago and took off today!
Mario Papillon, CEO of Cerba Research, states: “The Covid-19 pandemic is heavily impacting our society, and we must work together to overcome the situation. Cerba Research is proud to join efforts with the Belgian government, Biogazelle, GSK, JnJ, UCB and PPD to significantly improve testing capabilities to our elderly living in nursing homes.“
As described in the news (VRT) today, the first nursing homes have already received testing kits for their residents.
You can watch the news here. The testing kits being delivered to the nursing homes is the first headline. For those of you who do not speak Dutch, please find the transcript of the video below.
The first Flemish nursing homes have received material from the government to test their residents for covid-19. 85 care centers will receive a total of 11.000 test kits. In 55 of these nursing homes residents have already tested positive, whereas in the other 30, no covid-19 cases have been confirmed. One of these nursing homes is De Weister in Aalbeke, a sub municipality of Kortrijk. Yesterday, 45 tests arrived there. However, it is still unclear when exactly the residents will be tested, as the nursing home does not determine this.
“What does it contain? It contains a surgical facemask, an apron, and the kit itself which contains gloves and the actual test.”
45 of these test kits were delivered here yesterday, 1 for every resident of the nursing home. When exactly they are tested will be determined by “Zorg en Gezondheid”, and not by the nursing home itself.
The care center was randomly selected as research place, as there have been no confirmed cases yet. In any case, the family members are relieved that every inhabitant will be tested.