Australia supports Pakistan to strengthen COVID-19 surveillance: Envoy.

ISLAMABAD -- The Australian High Commission Thursday launched an initiative with the National Institute of Health (NIH) to help double COVID-19 testing capacity across Islamabad and the four provincial capitals of Pakistan.

The Australian grant would be administered by the Asian Development Bank through the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF).

Australia's assistance was aimed at enhancing genomic sequencing capacity for the early detection of new variants. This included training 500 healthcare workers to use new lab equipment safely and effectively, a news release said.

To support the Pakistan Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19 Pandemic and protect the vulnerable, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and NDRMF were fast tracking the project's implementation.

'Australia stands with the people and government of Pakistan in the battle against COVID-19. Strengthening the capacity of laboratories is critical to preventing transmission of the virus, especially as new variants emerge,'said Australia's High Commissioner Dr Geoffrey Shaw.

He said the initiative with NIH was the latest in a range of...

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