Public Health resumes voluntary testing for Coronavirus

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

The Ministry of Health announced yesterday that the public Health Laboratory has resumed the voluntary testing for Coronavirus, starting this week to determine the country’s infection level.

Coronavirus voluntary testing was suspended in April this year due to lack of testing kits in the Public Health Laboratory.

South Sudan has continued to remain a second infectious country in the East African Region with over 2,204 cases as of yesterday.

At least 44 people have succumb to the virus and 1,180 have so far recovered.

Speaking at the press conference yesterday, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of Health Dr. Thuou Loi said the voluntary testing is being prioritized for civil population to know their coronavirus status to prove the country’s coronavirus stand.

“It is important that people know their status and that is the only way for us to actually prevent the further spread of the virus and ultimately defeat COVID-19,” he explained.

“The testing is free; we are not charging anybody at this stage to know their status. Elsewhere we are seeing upsurge of covid-19 like in Kenya, numbers of cases are increasing as well as in the western countries, so it will help us determine the infection rate,” Dr. Loi added.

The mass testing kickoff as soon as possible since the registration starts today, Monday, he said.  

“I am made to understand that people can come for registration as soon as tomorrow (today) and in the due course, Public Health Laboratory will start collecting samples from people, otherwise the registration will be opened tomorrow (today),” he stated.

Dr. Loi said the fact that less positive cases were being confirmed shouldn’t necessarily deceive people that the pandemic was ceasing.

“People should not sit back and relax and say we are out, we are not out, we need to continue adhering to the preventive measures,” he added.

Dr. Angelo Goup Thon, the Chief of Operations for COVID-19 at the Ministry of Health revealed that the first target will be Juba city as the States follow.  

“For Juba, the only place for testing is the Public Health Laboratory, but we will do testing and registration at Juba school of Health Sciences, opposite Juba Teaching Hospital,” he said.

“This is where we will have the testing team as well as registration team. The samples will be collected there and transported to the Public Health Laboratory and the results be returned back after,” Dr. Angelo said.   

All have been advised not to go to the Public Health Laboratory rather Juba school of Health sciences.  

Testing at Nimule border will be channeled to the mobile laboratory in Nimule as it is functional now.

Samples will be collected in other parts of the country and channeled to the Public Health Lanortaory in Juba.

Dr. Angelo revealed that the Public Health Laboratory test up to 200 samples in a day.

He said at least 100 samples will be tested per a day as part of the mass testing exercise.

Dr. Wamala Joseph Francis, the WHO country’s Preparedness and International Health Regulation Officer said they were working hard to set up gene experts testing in the States. 

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