Labs, equipment, material, buildings, people: what the UV offers the authorities at the times of crisis

  • Office of the Principal
  • March 17th, 2020
 
A photo at the laboratory
A photo at the laboratory

In this critical situation, the Universitat de València has communicated to the competent authorities the UV capacity and materials to contribute to the efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought about a great healthcare crisis recently. In total, the resources of the university included labs, analytical equipment, more than 219.000 gloves, more than 17,000 masks, 3,285 hospital coats, and 317 litres of rubbing alcohol.

On 14 March, the Spanish Royal Decree 463/2020 (http://links.uv.es/v1u702a) declared a state of emergency in the country, thus, confirming an extraordinary and serious nature of the situation. The measures imposed by the government intended to protect the health and security of the citizens, halt the progression of the disease, and strengthen the system of public healthcare.

Before the Royal Decree was adopted on 14 March, the local authorities also looked into the depth of the crisis and the need to take extraordinary measures to overcome this global emergency situation. As a result of collaboration at the governmental and autonomous community levels, the Principal of the Universitat de València M. Vicenta Mestre, contacted the President of the Valencian government (Generalitat Valenciana), Ximo Puig, offering the classroom buildings, parking spaces, facilities, and equipment (including a hundred of medical bunk beds) of the Universitat de València usually used in the health sciences degree courses. Follow the link to learn more about the offer: http://links.uv.es/WlLt98H.

On Sunday 15 March, the Official State Bulletin (BOE) of Spain published an Order SND/233/2020, which established certain information measures about some products (http://links.uv.es/fnyu85e).

Using the channels recommended in BOE, the Universitat de València forwarded the Spanish Ministry of Health the detailed description of the materials available at the institution. Following the link, you can get acquainted with the extract of the document presenting a detailed overview of the materials available at the Universitat de València (in Spanish): http://links.uv.es/g68nyxi.

In total, 219,000 nitrile gloves, 17,000 masks, 3,285 hospital coats, and 317 litres of rubbing alcohol were made available, among other products which may be found here (in Spanish): http://links.uv.es/2jbstzo.

In addition, on Monday 16 March, the Principal of the Universitat de València personally contacted the ministers of Health, of Universities, and of Science and Information, as well as the regional Valencian ministers of Public HealthInnovation, Universities, Science, and Digital Society and Justice, Interior and Public Administration, communicating the availability of the following scientific equipment and labs of the Universitat de València that might be required.

The list of facilities includes a cell cultures laboratory with a P2+ biosafety level and NCB2 containment level and a hall with NCB2+ safety level, as well as equipment for PCR diagnostics and DNA sequencing.

In global terms of our university, all this equipment can be found following the link, without any specifications of the their placement location or the laboratories, but in line with the safety criteria of the UV facilities and possessions (in Spanish): http://links.uv.es/oc9nch0.

The UV Principal also communicated to the Spanish and Valencian governments the availability of the UV staff ready to collaborate in all the necessary activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Thus, during the meeting with the Minister of the Universities, Manuel Castells, on Monday 16 March (for more information, please, see the corresponding news on UVNoticiashttp://links.uv.es/8hKmRbh), the Spanish University System made available its human, scientific, and infrastructure resources to the Spanish government in these difficult times.

The contribution of scientists is the key to overcome the current crisis. As such, the Universitat de València and the Fisabio Foundation were the first in Spain to obtain the complete SARS-CoV2 genome. The research is supervised by a full university professor of Genetics at the Universitat de València, Fernando González Candela, a member of the UV Institute of Integrative Systems Biology and the Spanish National Research Council. A complete news article can be found here: http://links.uv.es/VOc9PXC.

During a videoconference between the Conference of Principals of Spanish Universities (CRUE) and the Minister, the Principal of the Universitat de València, M. Vicenta Mestre, expressed the need provide psychological support to the people, considering an enormous impact of the imposed measures on their current lifestyle and the general uncertainty existing in the society. More information about the CRUE meeting can be found following the link (news in Spanish): http://links.uv.es/2hhccnz.

The Faculty of Psychology of the Universitat de València is working in this area and has published a set of recommendations to maintain psychological well-being in light of the situation with coronavirus COVID-19. The faculty has also developed a list of the resources available online which can be accessed following the link (in Spanish): http://links.uv.es/2OqUzro.

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