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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 15 - 21  > Min-iren lab 'based on its own sense of mission' will give people access to PCR testing
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2020 April 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Min-iren lab 'based on its own sense of mission' will give people access to PCR testing

April 19, 2020
An institute of pathophysiology affiliated with the Tokyo Federation of Democratic Medical Institutions (Tokyo Min-iren), will soon start PCR testing to check for the presence of the new coronavirus.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on April 18 visited the Institute of Pathophysiology of Tokyo Min-iren, a cooperative testing laboratory, and listened to how the testing will be conducted, what the challenges associated with the testing are, and if they have testing requests for the government.

Koike said, "To boost the capacity of providing PCR tests is a pressing issue for Japan. The Health Ministry is considering allowing medical institutions and 'PCR screening centers' to directly send samples to private laboratories and not through the currently-swamped public health centers. Given the circumstances, the start of testing in your lab is good news."

Igarashi Kiyoko in charge of the pathological department showed Koike testing devices installed in the lab, and gave a briefing on the complicated procedures needed to extract and purify RNA from samples. She said there is no support from the government to train the staff to isolate RNA, adding, "As a Min-iren organization, we decided to work on this with our own sense of mission."

Director of the Institute Fujii Hiroyuki said that sample containers are in short supply, and asked Koike to press the government to provide face masks, gowns, and personal protective equipment preferentially to facilities conducting PCR tests.

Koike in response said, "Yes, we will demand that the government increase support to private inspection labs."

Min-iren hospitals and clinics are medical institutions for working people, providing good medical care in the interests of patients and protecting the lives and health of working people.
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