Fully automated Pakistani lab can test 2000 COVID-19 samples per day

Pakistan’s first automated COVID-19 testing lab has been introduced in Islamabad that can analyze up to 2,000 samples in a single day to meet the increasing demand for coronavirus testing.

Future Labs, the robotic mobile testing facility, has been launched by Pakistan’s Future Trust organization by JS Group in partnership with OpenCell UK to augment the country’s efforts to enhance COVID-19 testing. Pakistan is currently conducting approximately 30,000 tests a day.

The automated lab is a Biosafety Level 2 plus (BSL2+) facility designed and equipped to meet the COVID-19 RT-qPCR testing requirement. Due to the use of 5 liquid handling robots, the lab requires as little as six staff members to operate shifts.

The lab can process over 2,000 tests per day. The lab will be managed by Pakistan’s genetic testing laboratory, Medfer Diagnostics. The facility aims “to enable rapid scale-up of testing capacity and make it accessible and affordable” for all.

The mobile coronavirus testing lab inside a shipping container was first launched in May 2020 in London, UK by the scientists from OpenCell and King’s College London, in partnership with Opentrons Labworks. It is described as “the first fully functional lab that can be immediately deployed anywhere in the world for COVID testing.”

Until a vaccine is developed, regular testing on a massive scale is crucial to allow people to live safely.