TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Taiwan continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of National Defense plans to set up a new P4 laboratory to prevent and counter outbreaks of new viruses, reports said Tuesday (Oct. 19).
Biosafety level 4 labs are designed to handle the most dangerous pathogens. In Taiwan, only the military’s National Defense Medical Center has operated a P4 lab, which it has done for 30 years, the Liberty Times reported.
The center was one of five educational institutions selected to participate in a NT$185-million (US$6.63-million) program launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) last year to form a center for the scientific research of virus prevention.
Due to advances in security, the existing P4 lab no longer fulfilled all basic regulations, so the decision was made to build a new one adhering to the strictest international safety standards. The laboratory could grow into the most advanced virus research facility in the Asia Pacific, military officials said.