TBILISI, GEORGIA (1 July 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a contract for the purchase of fully automated high-throughput polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing equipment to support Georgia’s efforts to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The testing equipment, valued at €440,000 (approximately $495,000), will be supplied by Roche Diagnostics Turkey, A.S., and used by the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from Occupied Territories, Labour, Health, and Social Affairs of Georgia.

“Georgia has responded remarkably well to the pandemic, preventing the spread of the virus and providing support to households and businesses that are most affected,” said ADB Country Director for Georgia Shane Rosenthal. “The equipment purchased through ADB’s grant will increase testing capacity needed for continued containment as Georgia takes gradual steps to reopen the economy.”

“We are excited that the new equipment will increase national laboratory capacity by 2,000 tests per day and reduce the time it takes for diagnosis,” said First Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health, and Social Affairs of Georgia Tamar Gabunia. “We are committed to scale up the response with additional financial support from international donors to prevent, detect, and respond to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness.”

The equipment is funded through a grant drawn from the ongoing technical assistance program, Regional Support to Address the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Potential Outbreaks of Other Communicable Diseases. It follows a $100 million loan approved by ADB on 28 May under its COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) Program to provide budget support for Georgia’s comprehensive anti-crisis plan to combat COVID-19.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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