Quito, September 22, 2020
The National Reference Center for Influenza (CRN) and other Respiratory Viruses of the National Institute for Public Health Research (INSPI), for the molecular technique for the detection of COVID-19 in Ecuador, obtained 100% agreement by the “External Quality Assessment Program for the Detection of SARS-Cov2 by RT-PCR”, carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO), through the Hong Kong Public Health Laboratory.
INSPI through the CRN, since January 30, 2020, implemented this methodology, being the first laboratory in the South American Region to have the protocol.
Since the appearance of the first suspected case of COVID-19 in the country, INSPI has carried out RT-PCR tests in real time, initially in Guayaquil, later in Quito and Cuenca.
Due to the demand for samples to be processed at INSPI, 24-hour days were worked for the reception of samples, execution of tests and report of results in the computer system of the The Daily News Box (MSP), which allowed the authorities local and national take decisions and epidemiological actions for the control and management of the disease.
INSPI’s CRN is internationally recognized by the scientific community and is part of the WHO / PAHO Global Surveillance Network.
INSPI demonstrated its capacity during the H1N1 influenza pandemic, being one of the first countries in Latin America to detect it. Additionally, it has personnel trained for this type of important public health events.