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Fenelab Consortium COVID-19 validated by RIVM for corona tests

A network of Dutch laboratories is ready to sign a contract with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport for a large volume of extra corona tests

Meteren, 6 November 2020. At the request of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, additional testing capacity will be made available thanks to laboratories affiliated with the national industry association Fenelab. These laboratories accredited by the Accreditation Council have united themselves in the Fenelab Consortium COVID-19. In order to actually perform corona tests, the strict RIVM quality requirements, the so-called validation, must be met. The laboratories have all succeeded and are in the starting blocks.

Non-medical laboratories make it possible

After months of consultation with many authorities such as the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, LCDK, LCH, GGD GHOR and RIVM, the time has come: a consortium of Fenelab laboratories is ready to perform corona tests. The Ministry of VWS has asked Fenelab to become part of the upscaling laboratories. Initially seven organizations that are members of Fenelab make this possible: NutriControl, Merieux Nutrisciences, LabWing, Triskelion, Normec Biobeheer, Nutrilab and Nofalab. The laboratories are ISO 17025 accredited and top performers in their field (especially in the food sector) and will now demonstrate their qualities in the fight against the shortage of test capacity and the corona virus.

They can do this after the RIVM and LCDK have announced that the pilot tests with already known COVID samples have been successful, that is, meet the requirements of the RIVM validation.

Central location

After people have been sampled in the GGD test lanes, the samples are transported by courier - provided by the Fenelab Consortium COVID-19 - to a central processing location in Vlaardingen. This central location has been prepared and meets all qualifications to receive these virus samples. Qualified personnel receive the samples and prepare them for final transfer to the testing laboratories.

In this way it becomes possible to distribute the samples in the most logistic way possible and due to the participation of a network of laboratories there is already a large capacity from the start.

PCR locations: result known within 24 hours

The laboratories, the so-called PCR locations in the Netherlands, ultimately perform the tests on the basis of which it is determined whether or not a person is infected with the corona virus. The results will be delivered within 24 hours after collection from central location. In addition, daily ring tests and control samples ensure that the quality requirements are met.

All sampling materials, kits and devices are provided by the Fenelab Consortium COVID-19. The ICT infrastructure for this is being installed by consortium participant LabWing, of course all with the latest contemporary technology. Substantial investments are being made by these SME laboratories.

Innovation and the future

As discussed earlier with the Ministry of VWS, Fenelab is willing to contribute ideas about an adequate structure and organization that can be used to deal with these types of crises much more quickly. Sophisticated logistics and brainpower are necessary for this and the members of Fenelab can offer these to BV Nederland. Think of rapid tests, intelligent monitoring of educational institutions and other types of intelligent tests and scaling-up possibilities of test capacity by using the very latest laboratory, logistics and ICT solutions. In the future, a test upscaling in the event of a new pandemic does not have to take months with all its consequences, but can then be done much faster because we are jointly ready.

About Fenelab

Fenelab is the industry association of accredited laboratories and calibration and inspection institutions in the Netherlands. Fenelab represents approximately 90 independent laboratories in various sectors: environment, food, feed, agro, medical, pharmaceutical, veterinary, (drinking) water, petrochemicals, forensics, calibration and construction. Fenelab members are public, semi-public and private organizations and employ approximately 5,000 people. The turnover amounts to more than 5.5 Billion Euro.

About Fenelab Consortium COVID-19

The Fenelab Consortium COVID-19 is a partnership of Fenelab members that makes a joint SARS-CoV-2 test facility available on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. In the next three months, the consortium will carry out corona tests at the request of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. At the start of the work, nine Dutch Fenelab members entered into a partnership to provide the special service.

For information about this press release and about Fenelab, please contact the secretary, Mr. drs. Edwin Zoontjes (0630062189, See further

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