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Covid-19 testing capacity of RS being upgraded

Covid-19 testing capacity of RS being upgraded

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On
May 27, 2020 - 14:41

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NATOinfo-icon troops in Afghanistaninfo-icon continue to apply preventative measures in line with the Worldinfo-icon Healthinfo-icon Organisation (WHO) guidelines, the alliance said on Wednesday.

The preventive steps being taken by members of the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission include hand-washing, social distancing, wearing facemasks and avoiding large gatherings.

“Protecting our service members and civilians deployed with NATO-led missions remains paramount,” a statement from the alliance said.

Additionally, it added, COVID-19 testing capacity of the Resolute Support Mission was being upgraded.

The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has facilitated the delivery of an additional GeneXpert 16 COVID-19 testing laboratory, together with three technicians. Increasing secretion test capacity allows medical professionals to more quickly identify infections, limit the spread of the disease and start medical care for those infected.

Additional capabilities include a (Thermo Fisher) TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit, six BioFire machines and four more GeneXpert machines.

Testing is available for all personnel serving under the 38-nation mission, including service-members, civilians, contractors and Afghan workers living on Resolute Support bases.

Resolute Support began COVID-19 testing in Afghanistan on April 23. Previously, sending test samples to laboratories outside Afghanistan for analysis was necessary.

The process took 7-10 days due to the difficulty in shipping from Afghanistan and flight restrictions put in place to contain the pandemic spread.

Australia, Norway, and the United States have contributed funding and capabilities to increase Resolute Support Mission's testing capacity.

The NATO mission continued to support Afghan security forces and institutions in tackling the global pandemic, the statement continued.

It is training, advising and helping the Afghan forces create conditions for lasting peace, and ensuring Afghanistan would never again become a safe haven for international terrorists.

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