With an aim to fight Covid-19, Future Trust — with UK — has launched a highly advanced robotic mobile laboratory in Islamabad.

With an aim to fight and respond to rising Covid-19 cases effectively in the country by increasing the capacity of diagnosis, Future Trust — in partnership with Opencell UK — has launched a highly advanced robotic mobile laboratory in Islamabad.

Built in the United Kingdom by Opencell UK, the laboratory is a Biosafety Level 2 plus (BSL-2+) facility, built to ISO 15189 standards. The state-of-art lab is specified to meet the requirements for high throughput Covid-19 RT-qPCR testing.

The lab requires only six staff members in all shifts to operate as it uses five liquid handling robots and can process up to 2,000 tests each day.

Speaking at the event, British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner thanked Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, the ambassador-at-large for foreign investments, for “making him excited about the project”.

He highlighted various reasons why he thought Future Labs was something to celebrate. The first, he said, is because this lab is a vibrant example of a UK-Pakistan relationship built on people, that I am privileged to serve in the middle of.

Secondly he noted, “UK is proud of having been in the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 in its efforts to pursue a vaccine and its distribution internationally, as well as for providing development assistance to a broad spectrum of Covid relief, through UK Aid, to Pakistan”.

He added that this is a story of economic growth and trade and that he is very keen to boost inclusive and export-led economic growth through more collaborations such as this.

Ali Jehangir Siddiqui said: “I would like to thank His Excellency Dr Christian Turner for joining us and supporting this project. This partnership between entities in the UK and Pakistan is of importance to us not just because the two countries are so close but also because this represents a partnership in life sciences which is the need for the world at this moment in time. Recognizing the UK’s excellence and leadership in life sciences, we look forward to more such partnerships in the near future.”

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Azeem Butt, the head of Molecular Biology for Future Labs, said that it was heartening to see corporate organisations such as JS Bank and Future Trust working on innovation in science to fight Covid-19.

Future Trust is a non-profit philanthropic organisation, set up by JS Group that seeks to use advanced technology to address the problems caused by poverty.

Originally published at Tribune