Testing for COVID-19 will be performed at the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute

The specialists from the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute (NFVRAI) are ready to assist the laboratories of medical institutions as the need for testing COVID-19 in the country continues to grow. Although the COVID-19 testing method is currently not accredited by the NFVRAI laboratory, there are thousands of other diagnostic tests for viruses being performed every year that are similar to COVID-19 detection. Therefore, the laboratory is now in the final stages of preparing for carrying out such tests.

“The NFVRAI is a reference laboratory in our country, being accredited for the laboratory testing of foodstuffs, water, feed and animals, and of common pathogens (zoonoses) in humans and animals. The specialists of this laboratory perform molecular virological and bacteriological tests every day. Thus, we are also ready to join the COVID-19 testing. I hope this will ease the burden on medical laboratories and ensure that the results of tests reach the medics and the Lithuanian people as soon as possible”, – says Darius Remeika, the Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS).

The NFVRAI has all the equipment complying with the requirements for a molecular biology laboratory and three biosafety laboratory facilities necessary for work with dangerous human viruses. The researchers of the NFVRAI regularly participate in joint molecular, virological and bacteriological trainings as well as comparative and proficiency testing organised by the member states of the European Union.

According to the Head of the NFVRAI, Dr. Gediminas Pridotkas, one COVID-19 test could be carried out by a laboratory in about 3-4 hours and, if needed, the laboratory would be able to test about 300 samples for coronavirus per 24 hours.

At the moment, the NFVRAI is mobilising all the necessary human and technical resources and awaiting for the reagents required for the samples to be taken and the permission from the Ministry of Health to perform the tests. All organisational issues should be resolved in the coming days.