Confusion in COVID-19 laboratory tests

By John Agok

South Sudan ‘s Public and private laboratories test for Covid -19 facility certainly came under critical criticism from the public when government officials and football players retest positive in Doha,Qatar after leaving the country this year in a span of only five months.

This raised public eyebrows over the effectiveness and authenticity of the laboratory tests after the two government minister were this weekleft behind in Doha due to Covid-19 test assessment while their accompanying delegates returned home without transaction the bilateral business they were earmarked for.  In June this year, the football players who were en-route to Jordan for international assignments were also tested positive in the very Doha, Qatar

Juba Monitor caught up with some members of taskforce of Covid -19 managing the checking of in and out going passengers at the  Juba International Airport (JIA) who  confirmed that, they only cross-check the validity of document given by both public lab from the Ministry of Health and those given by private one.

Macham Macham from the Taskforce admitted that, their job was to check travelers’ covid-19 credentials issued at health institutions.

“Our work here at the Airport is to confirm that, travelers’ have valid documents from health institutions on Covid-19 test assessment”, he said.

Another source at the airport also told Juba Monitor that, the travelers were properly screened from Covid -19 taskforce when they are leaving the country free from Covid-19. It was really confusing to be told that some “of our people” tested positive again in Doha Qatar, what does this show in term of laboratories capacity or standard in its PCR.

One of the private,Biolab manager Mr. Musa Mandela told Juba Monitor that, their lab was approved by South Sudan Doctors Union and the Ministry of Health with its PCR standard.

He revealed that, the lab had a lot of clients especially from East Africa Community members who do test with Biolab.

‘’I can assure you that, our lab has been approved and given go ahead by South Sudan Doctor’s Union and Ministry of Health. Some members from the East Africa Community (EAC) are carrying out test with us here. It is because, we have standard PCR”, he underscored.

Mandela added that, they carried out tests on the officials who went to Doha and they all came out negative. This where the footballers were also tested before embarking on their journey outside the country through Doha.

“I was also tested with these government officials and we were all negative. This is the same confusion in Doha where our players tested positive last time”, he added.

The Manager of Juba International Airport (JIA) Mr. Kur Kur confirmed that, the Covid-19 taskforce were responsible for the screening of travelers on status of Covid-19 assessment test.

“I am the manager but there is a team from Covid-19 taskforc eat the airport who are mandated to screen travelers on Covid-19 assessment test”, he said.

However, when Juba Monitor contacted Dr. Angelo Thon the Manager of Public Health Laboratory to comment he said that he was in the meeting.

The Media reported that, the two Ministers who were left behind in Doha to wait for confirmatory test results were mentioned as Dr. Mathok earlier presented inclusive result while Mayiik tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival on Monday in Doha.

The vice president in charge for service cluster this week issued an order read on SSBCthat all public servants should attend tests on Covid-19 in person.

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