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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Health ministry says upsurge in covid-19 cases among reasons for delays in release of test results

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By Momodou Darboe

 

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The Director of Health Promotion at the Ministry of Health, Modou Njai, has said the accumulation of Covid-19 test samples compounded by the recent upward trend in the country’s coronavirus case-count were some of the reasons for delays in issuing Covid-19 test results.

Of late, the ministry of health has come under fire for unprecedented delays in issuing test results, raising concerns for many at a time when the country’s Covid-19 numbers are shooting through the roof.

According to Njai, some of the delays had to do with the lab as it was overwhelmed following an upsurge in Coronavirus cases in the country.

He further explained that the inundation of the lab with samples as well as the infection of several doctors and nurses were also some of the reasons people weren’t able to get their test results on time.  He revealed that work was in progress as the ministry has recently screened and produced test results for over 450 subjects.

Njai however laments that the contraction of Covid-19 by several healthcare workers were some of the challenges besetting the ministry.

On allegation and criticism of lapses in the ministry’s reporting process, the director of health promotion hinted that the public apathy towards Covid-19 testing could be fuelling speculations about discrepancies in reporting, adding that the ministry could not identify any lapse in its reporting of events.

“In our situational report, the information we are getting from the peripherals and various thematic areas are what we are reporting,” Njai countered. He added: “It is collected and is for the number of people who had tested and the results available are also provided on the situational report. So for me, I cannot say where the lapses are because I know the information is coming from authentic sources. And if people are going out for testing, the information comes to the situational report team. If they are not going for testing, automatically they would not be captured in the report. That one, I know about that because I know anybody who is tested is all captured. That’s why we are appealing to people to go out in numbers to test so that we can know where we are. If people don’t go out for testing and still speculate that our reports are not accurate which may not be the case. So, when people don’t go out for testing, we cannot force them to test.”

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