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Health Ministry sets guidelines on mass testing

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

The Ministry of Health has set new guidelines for COVID-19 samples collection and testing as the officials decried anxiety on the nature of pressures posed by those traveling in the recent days.

The new guidelines explained arrangement to be followed by the general public and travelers as they go for coronavirus testing. 

Dr. Bior Kuer Bior, the Acting Director General for Public Health Laboratory revealed they have prioritized on the daily coronavirus samples collection and testing as opposed to past three days in a week.

“We have found that people are cumulating; by the time, we receive samples, we cannot clear them on time. So we are going to collect samples on daily basis so that we can produce test results on timely manner,” he told the weekly briefing on Sunday.

The Laboratory specialist stated that the testing centers have been instead increased to two in order to reduce the work load.

According to Dr. Bior, the samples for travelers would be collected based on the dates next to travel as detailed.

Those who plan to travel on Mondays will always have their samples collected on Saturdays as those traveling on Tuesdays present themselves for samples collection on Sundays.

The travelers for Wednesdays would have their samples collected on Mondays whereas those who plan traveling on Thursdays collect their samples on Tuesdays.

The samples for Fridays travelers will always be collected on Wednesdays as those traveling on Saturdays go for samples collection on Thursdays.

For Sundays’ travelers, the samples collection would be on Fridays as the list rotates.  

Dr. Bior revealed that such arrangement would avoid expiration of travelers’ deadlines as the Health Ministry continues to discharge coronavirus work.

“We find ourselves being overwhelmed by the number of samples we receive, so we decided these measures. And so we would like the travelers to cooperate with us,” he explained.   

Dr. said that they were very optimistic that the results of samples will always be released within 24 hours prompt.

The two centers listed include Juba Institute of Health Science opposite to Juba Teaching Hospital and the National Public Health Laboratory (Blood Bank).

“General Public, either general travelers or foreigners are urged to always go to Juba Health Science Institute opposite Juba Teaching Hospital between 9:30 am to 5: pm,” the laboratory specialist said.  

Those who are either referred for medical attention abroad; whether nationals or foreigners are directed to National Public Health Laboratory.

Government officials, members of the organized forces, staffs of health partners, NGOs staffs, Foreign Embassies Staffs and Diplomatic Mission who want to travel are directed to go to the Public Health Laboratory for samples collection and testing.

Dr. Bior said that the identified travelers would present their tickets of the planned itineraries to guide the process.

According to the health expert, such attempts would avoid duplication, adding that “we will not collect your sample if we don’t know the date of traveling”

Dr. Bior acknowledges that if the people adhere to the new guidelines, the Health Ministry will serve the public amicably.  

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