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Aim is to give states access to nuclear or nuclear-derived techniques IAEA director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi. Image courtesy IAEA/D. Calma. The International Atomic Energy Agency is launching a project to establish a global network of diagnostic laboratories that can conduct monitoring, surveillance, early detection and control of emerging and reemerging zoonotic diseases such as the Covid-19 coronavirus using nuclear or nuclear-derived techniques. 

The agency’s director-general, Rafael Mariano Grossi, told a virtual board of governors meeting on Monday that the Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (Zodiac) project will give member states access to equipment, technology packages, expertise, guidance and training.

The aim is to make the world better prepared for future outbreaks. Mr Grossi said Covid-19 had exposed problems related to virus detection capabilities in many countries, as well as a need for better communication between health institutions around the world.

Date: Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/iaea-launches-zodiac-project-to-establish-global-laboratory-network-6-1-2020

A nuclear-derived technique is being used to detect virus causing Covid-19 Real time RT-PCR is the most accurate method to detect the Covid-19 virus. Photo courtesy D. Calma/IAEA. The International Atomic Energy Agency said it has so far delivered more than 250 consignments to 80 countries with supplies to help fight against the coronavirus pandemic, with many more to be shipped in the coming days and weeks.

The agency said its assistance includes equipment and expertise to help laboratories around the world step up testing as part of efforts to curb the spread of the disease.

The effort has drawn around €26m in extrabudgetary funds, including support from IAEA member states and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the Japanese multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company. Last month Takeda said it would commit around €4.35m in support of the initiative.

The agency has been helping countries through the provision of RT-PCR equipment, as well as accessories for testing and sampling. It is also providing personal protective equipment and offering webinars and video guidance for health and laboratory professionals on sample collection and processing.

Date: Friday, 05 June 2020
Original article: nucnet.org/news/iaea-delivers-supplies-to-80-countries-in-fight-against-pandemic-6-4-2020

An initiative by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to help some 120 countries contain the COVID-19 pandemic has received strong extrabudgetary backing from Member States, with voluntary pledges so far totalling around EUR22 million (USD24 million).

Date: Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Funding-for-IAEA-COVID-19-initiative-reaches-EUR22

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), part of which must be sterile, i.e. exempt from any microorganism such as bacteria or moulds that can compromise the wearer’s or the patient's safety. It was realised that whilst irradiation is routinely used to sterilise medical products it might also be possible to use the technology to increase the available supply of PPE, writes Paul Wynne, chairman of the International Irradiation Association.

Date: Wednesday, 06 May 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Viewpoint-Using-irradiation-to-treat-PPE

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will provide diagnostic kits, equipment and training in nuclear-derived detection techniques to countries asking for assistance in tackling the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19. Fourteen countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean have requested assistance with the diagnostic technique, known as Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). "The Agency takes pride in its ability to respond quickly to crises, as we did in the recent past with the Ebola, Zika and African Swine Fever viruses," IAEA Director General Mariano Grossi said in a statement to the IAEA Board of Governors. "Contributing to international efforts to deal with the coronavirus will remain a priority for me as long as the outbreak persists."

Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2020
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/IAEA-announces-support-for-COVID-19-effort