Mining magnate secures 10 million coronavirus tests for Australia

Australia has announced what it calls a groundbreaking partnership that secures 10 million Covid-19 test kits and pathology equipment supplied by Chinese company Beijing Genomic Institute (BGI).

So far, Australia has completed 500,000 tests. The additional 10 million tests will be distributed across the country from now until the end of the year and “equates to an almost 20 fold increase in testing,” the government said in a statement.

The partnership is between the Australian government, the Minderoo Foundation — owned by mining magnate Andrew Forrest — and private pathology providers.

“As we move to the next stage of our recovery, further expanding testing capacity and case ascertainment is one of the three critical steps we can take to protect Australians, avoid further spikes in community transmission and assist in easing restrictions,” said Australian Health Secretary Greg Hunt in the statement.
“The work of the Minderoo Foundation in helping to secure these high quality PCR tests and equipment helps protect the Australian public, diversifies supply lines and provides us with a fundamental testing capacity for COVID-19.”

Forrest, the former CEO of Fortescue Metals and one of Australia’s richest men, secured the tests on behalf of the Australian government in a deal worth $320 million Australian dollars ($209 million), according to CNN affiliate Nine News.

The test kits and equipment will be supplied by the Beijing Genomic Institute (BGI), Thermo Fisher and Tecan.


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