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The National Army Reference and Research Laboratory will begin processing COVID-19 tests

April 24, 2020

With the signing of the agreement between the Military Health General Directorate and the National Health Institute, the National Army Reference and Research Laboratory will begin processing 200 tests per day to detect possible cases of COVID-19.
The National Army Reference and Research Laboratory now has the capacity to perform 200 daily COVID-19 tests on users of the Military Forces Health Subsystem. This critical support to the diagnosis of the disease is another measure taken by the Health Directorate of the Force to mitigate the risk of contagion in the military population.

Recognized countrywide for its scientific and research work in the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of diseases of interest to public health, such as leishmaniasis, the National Army Laboratory was conditioned to process the COVID-19 tests to obtain reagents and materials for the processing and transport of samples. The tests that the laboratory will perform will be done using molecular techniques according to the protocols established in the country and abroad.

The certification process provided by the National Health Institute also included the transfer of technology in the molecular diagnosis of COVID-19 to be applied per the Berlin Protocol, whose molecular screening and evaluation process is applied in several countries.

Similarly, as a containment measure, the Forces Epidemiological Surveillance team was trained by the District Health Department in sample collection and transport according to IATA biosecurity standards, aimed at all military forces.

It should be noted that this laboratory will process the tests of members of the National Navy and the Colombian Air Force, as well as users of the Central Military Hospital.

The strengthening of this capacity of the National Army also materialized with the remodeling, in record time, of the facilities in compliance with the minimum requirements established by the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, and the National Health Institute.

In this way, and ratifying its commitment to the country, the National Army joins other institutions that have been contributing from their laboratories in the performance of COVID-19 tests, while advancing actions to protect and preserve the health of active military and other users who are beneficiaries of the health subsystem of the Military Forces.