(Yicai Global) Sept. 26 -- China's first biosafety-level-IV (P4) laboratory could enter operation at the end of this year, Yuan Zhiming, dean of the Wuhan Branch of Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Science and Technology Daily in an exclusive interview.
The P4 lab will enable the academy to study virulent pathogens, or biohazards of the highest level. Examples of such include Ebola, Lassa fever and Marburg virus.
The laboratory has undergone trial operations since completion in 2015, Yuan said. It gained approval from the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment and is set to be in use by the end of the year after passing a review by China's National Health and Family Planning Commission.
P4 labs are as safe as it gets for scientific research, Yuan added. Gas, liquid and solid waste that leave the laboratory will all be properly handled, he said.
"The entire lab ensures a constant state of negative pressure," he added. "Staff must wear positive pressure personnel suits to avoid contact with pathogens. This will be a public platform where scientists from across the country can carry out research."
With the new lab, China now has one level-IV, several level-III and a bunch of level-II biosafety labs, Yuan said.