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Guantanamo province opens Molecular Biology Laboratory



GUANTANAMO, Cuba, Feb 22 (ACN) With the Molecular Biology Laboratory inaugurated on Sunday in Guantánamo, the country increased its capacity to carry out daily tests of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) in real time, and its easternmost province the autonomy to carry them out without depending on Santiago de Cuba.

This circumstance and the usefulness of the facility for the fight against COVID-19 and the development of medical sciences were underlined by Rafael Pérez Fernández, member of the Party's Central Committee and First Secretary in the territory, after cutting the inaugural ribbon and exchanging with the members of the scientific team, together with Regla Angulo Pardo, Vice Minister of Public Health, and Governor Emilio Matos Mosqueda.

In addition to being very useful in the fight against the pandemic, which has reemerged with force in the country and in the head municipality, this group, composed mostly by microbiologists, will contribute to the promotion of research in the field of oncology, genetics and other specialties, being part of a wide national network as its 22nd pillar.

It provides the province with better conditions to diagnose the presence of the SARS-Cov-2 virus at a time when it is urgent, as evidenced by the report issued today by Dr. Francisco Durán, National Director of Hygiene and Epidemiology, in which, in spite of the decrease of COVID-19 cases in the last weeks, Guantánamo reported on Sunday 22, of which 14 belong to the head municipality.

The investment, amounting to 1.2 million pesos, will process at full capacity between 400 and 500 tests per day, but initially it will not exceed three hundred, waiting for the staff to demonstrate and endorse compliance with safety protocols guaranteeing the protection of its members and the environment.

A great willingness to achieve this objective prevails among almost thirty professionals with great multidisciplinary and microbiological expertise who make up the center's staff, and are grouped into four work teams.

All of them were duly qualified in the neighboring city of Santiago de Cuba and are capable of fulfilling the assigned mission not only with the maximum responsible for COVID-19, but also with other viruses that cause acute respiratory and stomach infections, and other pathologies, including zika and chikungunya.


Made up mainly of women and young people, the personnel received rigorous training in the Santiago hospital facilities in the analysis of samples and compliance with the sanitary protocols that are essential in this task for the good of human health.

Cell biology requires advanced knowledge of a wide range of subjects, including sterilization, ribonucleic acid extraction and the use of the indispensable advanced SLAM PCR reader, which is crucial in the interpretation of molecular tests that reveal the specific markers of SARS-Cov-2.
Special instruction was also given to five computer scientists specialized in data collection and information taxation, since the Guantanamo laboratory will operate for the first time in Cuba a software that provides the immediate result of the PCR to the health areas and to the people being tested, the latter by means of their cell phones.

Since the beginning of March 2020, when the first cases of COVID-19 were detected, Cuba has been expanding its installed capacity in molecular biology, which now has a solid network of facilities of high scientific level for the diagnosis of the virus that transmits a disease that has become a scourge for the world.

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