August 20, 2020

Cerrejón inagurates the first laboratory for COVID-19 testing in La Guajira

On August 18, 2020, Cerrejón delivered the first molecular biology laboratory for COVID-19 testing in La Guajira to San José de Maicao hospital. This laboratory is part of the near USD 3 million of support provided by Cerrejón to address the sustained health emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This lab will perform up to 150 PCR COVID-19 tests every day which will facilitate improved management and informed decision-making by health professionals and the authorities.

The laboratory, completed in just three months, is the result of the close collaboration between the National Health Institute (INS, for its acronym in Spanish), the Health Superintendence Office, the La Guajira Governor´s Office, the Maicao Mayor´s Office and the Maicao hospital.

In addition to the adaptation of existing facilities, the donation included the purchase and transport of more than 30 pieces of equipment including a thermal cycler and an RNA extraction device, access to 5,000 reagents and logistical support for the training of the laboratory staff at the INS facilities in Bogotá.

With this new lab and the training received by these technicians, La Guajira now has an analysis centre capable of detecting many viruses, such as Dengue Fever.

As part of its commitment to strengthen the health sector in the region, Cerrejón has donated nearly 100,000 medical supplies to local hospitals as well as three mechanical ventilators. Over 400 units of medical supplies such as vital signs monitors, cardiac arrest carts, sensory organ equipment, nebulizers, defibrillators, portable aspirators, electrocardiographs and doppler ultrasounds have reached local facilities which will strengthen the regional response of first and second level hospitals in the department.