SARInet Laboratory Meeting
28 - 30 October 2020, 10:00am – 1:00pm (EDT, Washington, D.C.)
Virtual meeting via Zoom
The 2nd regional SARInet Laboratory Meeting held 28-30 October 2020 was a unique opportunity for National Influenza Centers (NICs) and National Reference Laboratories in the Americas to collaborate on the use of the current influenza surveillance platform for COVID-19 laboratory surveillance. The meeting highlighted the advances achieved and challenges experienced to date in the use of available techniques to diagnose COVID-19, as well as the sharing of viruses, data, and quality assurance.
Each day fostered a learning environment for more than 140 participants from 41 countries and territories including collaborators from PAHO’s regional and country offices, WHO, CARPHA, WHO Collaborating Center at the U.S. CDC, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The three-day virtual meeting focused on strengthening virological surveillance capacity and improving the frequency, quantity, and quality of data shared through the GISRS. The sessions comprised illustrative presentations and extensive exchange of experience among participants. This was a significant step in the development of a sustainable strategy to adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring continued detection of novel influenza viruses with pandemic potential.
PAHO’s regional Surveillance Team for Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses expresses its warmest thanks to the presenters, participants, and collaborators for their contribution during the meeting. We hope to resume our face-to-face meetings during 2021.
The agenda, presentations, and photographs for the three days are available here.