Given the pandemic situation decreed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in relation to the SARS-COV-2 virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease, the University of Costa Rica (UCR) offers collaboration to government authorities for processing confirmatory samples of COVID-19.
The proposal, signed by the Rector of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), Dr. Henning Jensen Pennington, was sent on Friday March 13, 2020 to the Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Salas Peraza, for evaluation. Currently, all samples of suspected COVID-19 cases are processed by the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Teaching in Nutrition and Health (Incense).
According to Jensen, “specialists have informed us that the number of samples, which must be processed promptly, is likely to increase significantly. For this reason, we offer solidarity support, not only to the Ministry of Health, but to the public health of our country, through our Clinical Laboratory, which is one of the few laboratories in Costa Rica that has been accredited under different quality standards to international level”.
In this way, the University makes available to the entire Costa Rican people, the capacities of the Clinical Laboratory and Blood Bank of the University of Costa Rica (LCBSUCR), located in the Trauma Hospital. This laboratory complies with the highest quality standards for the clinical analysis of samples and could reinforce the work carried out by Inciensa in the timely detection of COVID-19 cases.
The feasibility analysis of this proposal was carried out by the UCR’s Office of Welfare and Health. This instance concluded that it is a viable option and that it meets the required standards, since the LCBSUCR has equipment of the same quality used by Incense, as well as adequate facilities and highly trained personnel. In the event of collaboration, the reagents would be sent by Incense to the UCR laboratory to analyze the samples.
With this initiative, the University of Costa Rica strengthens its commitment to society, as an agent of education, research and social action, especially at times when the country needs to join forces for the health of the population.