Geneva, 26 April 2021: Unilabs, the leading European diagnostic group, has hit a key milestone in its fight against Covid-19, passing the 10 million Covid-19 test mark. “Since December last year, we have doubled our Covid-19 test volumes – a remarkable achievement for our front-line teams across our seventeen countries,” said Dr Christian Rebhan, Unilabs’ Chief Medical and Operations Officer. “As the vaccines are rolled out and the world prepares to open up again, testing remains crucial to quickly identifying and containing the virus wherever it turns up.”
“Our teams have put their heart and soul into delivering this success, working tirelessly to ramp up capacity, secure supplies, take samples from our patients, and deliver accurate results as quickly as possible,” said Timóteo Guimarães, who runs Unilabs’ Covid-19 business unit. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, TMC and Unilabs have actively been doing their part in fighting the pandemic. Due to the high demand in times of Covid-19, healthcare systems have come under increasing pressure and many institutions have relied on external providers like TMC to take pressure off the overloaded system and continue to provide high-quality care.
TMC has contributed to the diagnosis of Covid-related pneumonia, and vaccine-related complications since the beginning of the pandemic. Chest radiologists also see an increasing number of radiological chest examinations of patients with long-term Covid effects, such as persistent pathological patterns in the lung tissue. Since the start of the pandemic, TMC’s parent Unilabs has hugely increased both sampling and testing capacity. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and with dedicated new labs in Portugal, the Netherlands, UK and the UAE, the current capacity at Unilabs exceeds 500,000 tests per week and rising.
The bulk of the tests are PCR tests. Unilabs also offers rapid antigen tests, as well as serology tests, which provide insight into the level of antibodies in a patient’s bloodstream, and thus the patients’ immune response to the virus. Demand for serology tests is rising as more people get vaccinated, since these tests can evaluate the patient’s individual reaction to the vaccine.
Unilabs has also introduced innovative new techniques and technologies to improve, speed up, and broaden testing. This includes tests that specifically identify variants such as the UK or South African variant, as well as new kinds of tests such as saliva or gargling tests.
To minimise risks for patients and staff, Unilabs has also created innovative workflows, setting up more than two hundred drive- and walk-throughs. Unilabs also carries out some Covid-19 sampling at its roughly 1,000 regular collection centres. At the same time, it has introduced dedicated zones to allow vulnerable non-Covid patients – such as the elderly and the immunosuppressed – to continue routine testing for other conditions.