Nato troops to increase Covid-19 testing capacity in Afghanistan

27 May 2020 (Last Updated May 27th, 2020 14:58)

Allies and partner troops operating as part of the Nato-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan have joined efforts to upgrade the coronavirus (Covid-19) testing capacity.

Nato troops to increase Covid-19 testing capacity in Afghanistan
Allies and partner troops within the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan have joined efforts to upgrade the Covid-19 testing capacity. Credit: North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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Allies and partner troops operating as part of the Nato-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan have joined efforts to upgrade the coronavirus (Covid-19) testing capacity.

To further help the efforts, the Nato Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has aided the delivery of an additional GeneXpert 16 Covid-19 testing laboratory, along with three technicians.

The tests allow medical professionals to identify infections rapidly and limit the spread of the virus. Infected patients are provided with medical care immediately.

Additionally, medical professionals are provided with a TaqPath (Thermo Fisher) Covid-19 Combo Kit, six BioFire machines and four additional GeneXpert machines.

Testing is offered for all personnel, including service-members, civilians, contractors and Afghan workers living on Resolute Support bases, serving under the 38-nation mission.

Last month, Nato Resolute Support began Covid-19 testing in Afghanistan. Due to lack of infrastructure and equipment, the test samples were sent to laboratories outside Afghanistan for analysis.

The whole process required more than a week due to the challenges faced following the transportation and flight restrictions put in place.

Military personnel and service members continue to implement precautionary steps against the virus by hand-washing, practising social distancing, wearing face masks and avoiding large gatherings.

Australia, Norway, and the US have contributed funding and capabilities to increase the testing capacity of Resolute Support.

Troops operating in the Nato-led missions continue to apply preventative measures as issued in the World Health Organization guidelines.

The Nato-led Resolute Support Mission is supporting Afghan security forces by training, advising and assistance the forces.