Glencore provides COVID-19 testing for Mount Isa
Glencore has provided $45,000 for a new GeneXpert IV-4 instrument, cartridge and nasal swab collection kit that will enable local testing, and dramatically reduce the timeframe for test results.
Until now, COVID-19 nasal swab samples had to be flown from Mount Isa to Brisbane or Townsville for analysis.
North West Hospital and Health Service acting chief executive Dr Karen Murphy welcomed the new equipment, saying it was vital that the region expanded its local testing capacity.
“The GeneXpert tests are accurate and have a turnaround time of around three hours,” she said.
“While the cartridges needed for the machine are still in short supply, this equipment will be crucial for diagnosing urgent cases.
“Previously, testing for COVID-19 has been dependent on airlines and external labs, but with this equipment funded by Glencore, we now have the safety net that we deserve in North West Queensland.”
Director of the Emergency Department at Mount Isa Hospital Dr Ulrich Orda said this machine would also be a valuable asset in the long term.
“It can analyse other respiratory viruses, staph infections, influenza A and B, and some STD’s, so it has further application beyond the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
Globally Glencore has established a $25 million Community Support Fund to assist communities during the coronavirus pandemic.