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UP 5,000 Coronavirus samples awaits laboratory tests

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

The Ministry of Health said yesterday that over 5,000 Coronavirus (COVID-19) samples were awaiting test at the Public Health Laboratory due to limited capacity of the machines.

As of yesterday, coronavirus cases increased to 665 positive after 102 were reported on Saturday. The number is expected to rise as more tests are being carried out.

Eight people have died and six recovered from the virus, according to the Ministry of Health.  

The country has only three testing machines with  capacity of about 200 cases a day according Dr. Angok Gordon Kuol, the Incident Manager of the coronavirus at the Ministry of Health

Last week, over 70 sick Kenyan were reported to be stranded in Juba as they awaits their COVID-19 test results.

However,Dr. Kuol said there was no special preference given to foreigners saying the testing was done on the basis of first come first served.

He said there were a lot of challenges arising in the fight against pandemic.  

“Challenges are coming in; we have a backload of over 5,000 samples collected. They are not yet run and they need to be tested,” He told Journalist during the weekly update.

Dr. Kuol said that though the country had received the newly imported equipment, some of the machines still had technical errors that required technical attention. 

“We thought they will help us in clearing the backload but unfortunately the machines have arrived in the country but some things are lacking to make them operational. The supplier is telling us to hold on and will be able to bring what is lacking,” he said.

Dr. Kuol said that the Laboratory staff have been allowed to let them be operational but not with full capacity.

“These three machines, each is producing 36 samples per run because of the low capacity.……If we operate them; the older one will take up to 94 or 96 sometimes. So we are within almost, the level of 200 samples,” Kuol explained    

Dr. Kuol However revealed that the samples collection have increased unlike in the past.

“Zones are sending, Nimule truck is sending, screening about the mourners and then the number of alerts has increased. The number of people who are positive have increased as well. So samples are actually huge and may be if we give you the report this evening, we could be talking of 6,000 if the capacity of Laboratory does not improve,” he said.

He said the mobile machine meant for Nimule was lacking other consumable items which he said would be resolved soon.

He said some of the staff working in the emergency operation center were also declining  due to the risk being posed by the pandemic

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