“Our donation of a state-of-the-art COVID-19 diagnostic machine to Bulgaria will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 with accurate and quick testing. This donation demonstrates our commitment to the long-term U.S.-Bulgaria partnership.” ~ Ambassador Herro Mustafa
U.S. Embassy Sofia is pleased to announce that the United States Government has donated funds to purchase for Bulgaria a COVID-19 testing kit through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Bulgaria, an IAEA Member State since 1957, requested a test kit through an IAEA project. The United States responded by providing the funding to purchase the fastest, most reliable COVID-19 testing machine.
National testing is crucial in containing the COVID-19 outbreak. The United States purchased for Bulgaria a diagnostic testing machine that utilizes the most sensitive technique for detecting viruses currently available. The machine employs a nuclear-derived technique to rapidly detect the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The technique is known as real time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (real time RT-PCR).
Real time RT-PCR detects the presence of specific genetic material from any pathogen, including a virus—which makes it possible to identify the SARS-CoV2 virus within hours. RT-PCR is one of the most reliable and fastest testing methods for the coronavirus. The United States is proud to support this important peaceful use of nuclear technology to combat the global challenge of diagnosing and containing COVID-19.
In addition to the RT-PCR machine, Bulgaria will receive COVID-19 diagnostic kits and training,
biosafety supplies such as personal protection equipment, primers, probes, and laboratory cabinets for the safe analysis of collected samples. More specifically, the support package is comprised of: i)Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the operators during sampling, sample processing and testing; ii)Equipment for establishment/upgrade of molecular diagnostics (thermocycler, biosafety and PCR cabinets, small equipment like centrifuges, vortexes, and more); and iii) A specific diagnostic kit for the detection of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 using three techniques.
The entire kit will include materials sufficient for 2000 test samples. The kit creates its own laboratory.
The non-consumable portion of the kit, including the testing machine and cabinets, can be used in perpetuity. IAEA is working with Bulgaria’s National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases to arrange for international delivery of the kit.
This donation is in addition to previous U.S. government support to Bulgaria to fight COVID-19. The U.S. Embassy is a partner of the “United against COVID-19″ initiative with the Bulgarian Donors Forum, the America for Bulgaria Foundation, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, which has already raised almost 1 million BGN in donations for Bulgarian hospitals, civic organizations, community centers, and social enterprises. The U.S. Embassy also supported the “Standing Together” initiative with the America for Bulgaria Foundation, which provided 50,000 BGN in donations to Bulgarian community volunteers. The U.S government on April 16 committed $500,000 to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in Bulgaria. The U.S government is also providing as many as 6500 COVID-19 test kits to the Bulgarian National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and Military Medical Academy. In addition, many U.S. companies and NGOs are supporting Bulgaria by donating funding, test kits, food and drink, medical equipment, software and technology, and more.