Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, GENERALI Osiguranje Srbija is taking actions to protect and assist its employees, customers and partners in this emergency. With this donation, the company wants to support future efforts of the scientific and medical community and of the Government of the Republic of Serbia in the fight against COVID-19, but also against other potential threats to human health.
This donation comes from the GENERALI Extraordinary International Fund worth EUR 100 million, dedicated to the fight against the COVID-19 emergency, which is available in the countries in which Generali operates. The fund provides immediate assistance in the current crisis, and in the medium term, it is intended to help the economic recovery of the countries affected by the pandemic.
Dragan FILIPOVIC, Chairman of the Executive Board of GENERALI Osiguranje Srbija, commented about the donation:
"The COVID-19 pandemic changed the lives of people around the world. In its desire to contribute to the efforts of medical and research professionals to adequately respond to the growing need for healthcare services, Generali wants to support the work of the Fire Eye laboratory and the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Serbia to defeat the pandemic in Serbia. The scientific community and the healthcare sectors are on the front line fighting the new virus. This laboratory has contributed to a significant increase in testing in Serbia, and in the future it will contribute to strengthening the healthcare system of Serbia by developing its research and training potential."
Fire Eye, the national laboratory for molecular detection of infectious agents at the Clinical Centre of Serbia, is unique in the region. About 350 m2 of the total 750 m2 of its space is in a negative-pressure mode, which prevents infectious agents from leaving the facility.
The key part of the analysis conducted here is based on two robotic platforms that automatically isolate RNA and DNA and prepare samples for the final phase of the analysis, thus speeding up the flow of samples through the system and issuing results faster.
Strict biosafety protocols in the lab are unique in the region and were developed in collaboration with Chinese experts who were in Wuhan at the time of the epidemic.
Forty-seven experienced experts from our top scientific and research institutions have been trained by Chinese colleagues and put their expertise in the service of our society. The laboratory, open 24 hours a day, is headed by Dr. Jelena Begovic, Director of the Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, University of Belgrade.
Fire Eye laboratory has been working at full capacity, processing over 2,000 samples a day and contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Jelena BEGOVIC, coordinator of the Fire Eye National Laboratory for Molecular Detection of Infectious Agents in Belgrade, said:
"On behalf of the entire team of forty-seven researchers currently working at this centre, I would like to sincerely thank GENERALI Osiguranje Srbija for the donation that came at a crucial moment. I spoke with Mr. FILIPOVIC during his recent visit to the Fire Eye and I was truly glad to see that the company recognized the importance and scientific potential of this laboratory. I hope that in the future we will continue to cooperate, primarily in terms of support for the types of research that are important not only for our country and for the region, but which also have global significance."