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British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner inaugurates Robot-Operated COVID-19 testing lab in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In its effort to fight COVID-19 and increase domestic testing capacity, JS Group’s Future Trust in partnership with technology from Opencell UK have launched Future Labs – a highly advanced robotic mobile COVID-19 laboratory, built-in the United Kingdom by Opencell UK, the laboratory is a Biosafety Level 2 plus (BSL-2+) facility built to ISO 15189 standards.

The state-of-art lab is specified to meet the requirements for high throughput COVID-19 RT-qPCR testing. Due to the use of 5 liquid handling robots, this lab requires as little as six staff members to operate all the shifts. The lab can process over 2000 tests per day.

While speaking at the event, High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner thanked ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui for “making him excited about the project.” He highlighted various reasons why he thought Future Labs was something to celebrate. The first, he said, “is because this lab is a vibrant example of a UK-Pakistan relationship built on people, that I am privileged to serve in the middle of.”

Secondly, he noted, “UK is proud of having been in the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 in its efforts to pursue a vaccine and its distribution internationally, as well as for providing development assistance to a broad spectrum of Covid relief, through UK Aid, to Pakistan.” He added that this is a story of economic growth and trade and that he is very keen to boost inclusive and export-led economic growth through more collaborations such as this.

Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, ambassador-at-Large for foreign investments, said, “I would like to thank His Excellency Dr Christian Turner for joining us and supporting this project. This partnership between entities in the UK and Pakistan is of importance to us not just because the two countries are so close but also because this represents a partnership in life sciences which is the need for the world at this moment in time. Recognizing the UK’s excellence and leadership in life sciences, we look forward to more such partnerships in the near future.”

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Azeem Butt, head of Molecular Biology for Future Labs, stated that it was heartening to see corporate organizations such as JS Bank and Future Trust working on innovation in science to fight COVID-19.

Future Trust is a non-profit philanthropic organization, set up by JS Group that seeks to use advanced technology to address the problems caused by poverty.



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