CHINA Decoding nucleic acid test for COVID-19


Decoding nucleic acid test for COVID-19

By Shan Xin | People's Daily app

13:34, March 05, 2020

The biosafety laboratory at the Shanxi Bethune Hospital has been conducting nucleic acid tests since the epidemic outbreak, becoming the frontline in the battle against the coronavirus. (Photos:

The throat swab samples from the patients are delivered to the laboratory by professional medics. Disinfections including spray of 75-percent isopropyl alcohol and a 30-minute water bath at a temperature of 56 degrees are required before opening the samples, to decrease the possibility of infections to the testing personnel and surrounding environment.

Well-equipped medics are checking the information of the owner of the samples.

The total process of the tests will take nearly six hours including sampling, sample disinfections, reagent preparation, specimen preparation, testing, equipment disinfection as well as other steps, according to Rong Jianrong, director of the laboratory diagnostics department.

Each step is sterilized in strict accordance with the relevant requirements.

The testing personnel is extracting the nucleic acid.

Samples are put into test machines.

Relevent staff are collecting the used test tubes for unified recycling and centralized processing.

The Shanxi Bethune Hospital has conducted 368 nucleic acid tests up till now, providing an etiological basis for the clinical departments and fever clinics to diagnose and screen for the coronavirus infection.

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