About 200 COVID-19 test kits were sent to Kabul for use by coalition forces following a spike in coronavirus cases in the area.
CAPTION: ADF personnel in the Middle East prepare a load of COVID-19 test kits for delivery to Afghanistan. Photo by Sergeant Ben Dempster.
The ADF’s Joint Task Force (JTF) 633 in the Middle East sent the Australian-supplied GeneXpert kits to NATO’s Operation Resolute Support’s role 2 medical facility in Afghanistan on December 10.
This increased the pool of existing GeneXpert kits.
Australian Medical Officer in Kabul Major Eric Richman said the demand for COVID-19 testing had increased because of the spike in cases.
“The GeneXpert testing equipment complements the Australian-supplied BioFire Torch systems in place,” Major Richman said.
BioFire Torch is the latest advancement in molecular infectious disease diagnostics.
“The additional 200 kits gives us a valuable reserve supply in the event we see a significant growth in the numbers requiring testing,” Major Richman said.
Logistics officer Captain Tim Johnson said the response to the ADF’s Task Group Afghanistan request was fast and efficient.
“On the day the urgent request was informally scoped with JTF633, the logistics staff who are part of Force Support Element 13 in Kabul, commenced preparation concurrently with the JTF633 headquarter’s scoping endorsement,” Captain Johnson said.
“The kits arrived at Hamad Karzai International Airport three days after the initial request.
“The efficient and professional response from JTF633 has been noted across coalition forces and has made a great impact on a critical capability at a very pertinent time.”