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United States donates lab equipment to help Costa Rica study coronavirus treatment

June 25, 2020

The United States again donated laboratory equipment to the Costa Rica Social Security System (CCSS), the U.S. Embassy announced in a Thursday press release.

The contribution is meant to help Costa Rica’s research into plasma treatments to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The supplies, valued at $41,500, were provided through the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Humanitarian Assistance Program. They will be distributed by the CCSS to Costa Rica’s Center for Research in Tropical Diseases, the Clodomiro Picado Institute of the University of Costa Rica, and the National Blood Bank.

“We are developing projects that can lead to new discoveries and new applications that we can not only develop, but also produce here in Costa Rica,” said Román Macaya, executive president of the CCSS, in a statement. “This is very important at a time when the entire world is not only investigating but is demanding these products.”

Sharon Day, the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, said that “for the United States Embassy and the United States government, it is important to collaborate with Costa Rica in scientific research that can lead to solutions to face the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Embassy estimates that its total donations to Costa Rica during the coronavirus pandemic have surpassed $235,000.

The equipment donated Thursday includes a mixing scale, a blood-bag sealer, plasma separators, and tens of thousands of single-use test tubes and pipettes.

In April, the Clodomiro Picado Institute began researching the efficacy of plasma therapy to treat patients with COVID-19.

The Clodomiro Picado Institute — which typically specializes in snake antivenoms — says initial tests have “generated positive results” that inspire hope for an eventual COVID-19 treatment.

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