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Following the success of our recent appeal to raise funds for equipment to increase COVID-19 testing capacity, many people have expressed an interest in continuing to support this area. Additional funds will enable us to continue to buy essential equipment to support increased testing, as well as our vital research into screening for COVID-19 and developing new treatments, drugs and interventions related to COVID-19.
The NHS is facing one of the biggest health crises in history - key to saving lives is the ability to rapidly scale up testing capability.
We have been overwhelmed by the community support to purchase equipment necessary to increase testing in Northern Ireland tenfold. But now we need additional funding to ensure we can provide reagents to keep up the testing and undertake vital research relating to screening and developing new treatments, drugs and interventions related to COVID-19.
Can you help Ulster University to play a key role in helping fight coronavirus?
We are working as part of a COVID-19 Task Force alongside Western Health & Social Care Trust (WHSCT) at Altnagelvin Hospital to deliver testing for NHS staff, care home staff and social care staff so that they can protect and treat our community. Once increased capacity is established, testing will also be rolled out to further priority groups and ultimately the general public.
Representatives from across Ulster University’s campuses led by Professor Tony Bjourson along with Queen’s University and the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute are part of a combined COVID-19 Task Force working with the Department of Health in Northern Ireland to minimise the impact of the deadly virus.
Whilst we have both the necessary academic expertise and first-class research facilities, our testing resources for COVID-19 are limited and the equipment which we have now ordered will enable us to test at 10 times the current rate. This robotic system will allow faster testing of large numbers with more accuracy. However we are now raising additional funds to support this work and our wider research into COVID-19.
With 100% of Ulster University's Biomedical research environment rated as world-leading or internationally excellent, we're well-placed to work in partnership with WHSCT-Altnagelvin Hospital in the fight against COVID-19. We're already carrying out testing at our hospital-based research facility (C-TRIC). The new equipment and additional essential chemicals will help us to significantly increase the number of tests we're able to carry out.
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