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Taiwan military will set up P4 lab to prevent new virus outbreaks

Project will adhere to strictest international safety standards

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The National Defense Medical Center wants to set up a new P4 lab. (CNA, Ministry of National Defense photo) 

The National Defense Medical Center wants to set up a new P4 lab. (CNA, Ministry of National Defense photo) 

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.