Hands in blue gloves holding a Covid-19 testing swab.
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Randox to create 50 jobs at new Covid-19 testing lab in Donegal

4 Dec 2020623 Views

A new Randox testing lab with a capacity to run 30,000 Covid-19 tests a day will open at its Donegal site.

Randox – a company playing a significant role in the UK’s Covid-19 testing – has announced plans to open a new lab at its existing Dungloe facility in Donegal. According to The Irish Times, the new lab will create up to 50 jobs and will have a capacity for up to 30,000 tests per day.

Randox founder Dr Peter FitzGerald said that testing is expected to begin in January as part of a £68m investment into Covid-19 testing. The company said it has conducted 6m tests since the beginning of the pandemic, having increased its capacity at its Antrim headquarters from 150 tests per day in March to 80,000 a day now.

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Across the entire group, Randox expects to carry out more than 100,000 Covid-19 tests a day. It recently opened a testing facility in Dublin Airport for those looking to travel abroad and has been awarded contracts worth almost £500m by the UK government.

“A lot of the technology we’ve developed in Donegal is fundamental to our work, with many key components manufactured there,” FitzGerald said.

“It is useful to have additional facilities open for a number of reasons, including biohazard protection and supply chain resilience.”

Founded in 1982, the company has increased its staff count to 2,000 from 750 since the beginning of the pandemic. Randox was recently criticised in a Channel 4 investigation which claimed the company was engaged in questionable practices at its Antrim lab. The company has strongly refuted claims made in the piece saying it was “deceptive, dishonest and defamatory”.

It was also recently announced that Dublin would be home to a new coronavirus testing lab operated by LetsGetChecked. The Irish company – with corporate offices in Dublin and New York – provides a number of medical tests for home use and recently launched a home-testing kit in Ireland for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

LetsGetChecked said the opening of a Dublin lab will double its expansion in the country and this week announced plans to hire 160 for its Dublin team and 50 employees in the US.

Colm Gorey
By Colm Gorey

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic. He joined in January 2014 and covered AI, IoT, science and anything that will get us to Mars quicker. When not trying to get his hands on the latest gaming release, he can be found lost in a sea of Wikipedia articles on obscure historic battles and countries that don't exist any more, or watching classic Simpsons episodes far too many times to count.

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