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North-West Covid-19 testing boosted

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  • Dr Malama said Solwezi General Hospital has the capacity to test 600 samples daily but currently is being hampered by the lack of reagents. He said the ministry would in a few days expected send the reagents to Solwezi General Hospital to enable the facility operate at optimum.

NORTH-WESTERN Province will soon increase Covid-19 testing capacity from 600 to 1, 000 per day, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary in charge of Technical Services, Kennedy Malama, has said.
This follows the opening of a PCR laboratory at Marybegg clinic with a testing capacity of 400 Covid-19 samples daily.
Dr Malama said Solwezi General Hospital has the capacity to test 600 samples daily but currently is being hampered by the lack of reagents.
He said the ministry would in a few days expected send the reagents to Solwezi General Hospital to enable the facility operate at optimum.
He was speaking when he opened a PCR laboratory at Marybegg clinic in Solwezi.
“At the moment, the province is able to test on average 600 samples when all systems are firing, at the moment we don’t have reagents at Solwezi General Hospital.
“But in the coming days once those reagents come and with the coming of this laboratory, Northwestern province will be firing about a thousand in a day,” Dr Malama said.
He said real time testing and diagnosis were key in containing and preventing the person to person transmission of Coronavirus.
Dr Malama expressed worry with the low level of adherence to Covid-19 preventive measures in North Western province.
“Zambia continues to face a double risk of Covid-19 transmission, in country, person to person transmission but also the risk of importation and therefore you will see us not relenting on giving key messages,” Dr Malama said.
Dr Malama said despite the region being one of the epicentrs for the virus, people had relaxed in observing the rules of prevention.
Speaking earlier, Kansanshi Mine Assistant General Manager, John Gladston, said the company would continue supplementing government efforts in containing and preventing Covid-19.
Mr Gladston said the investment put up by the mine was meant to help protect the communities to enable them continue supporting the mine to remain productive.
He said the mine has so far used 800 test kits out of the apportioned 5,000 adding that another 5,000 kits have been reserved for the communities around the mine area.
Anglo-American discovery physicist, Michelo Shalwindi, said the company remains committed towards supporting government’s ambitious plan of increasing the testing capacity.
Mr Shalwindi said the PCR laboratory is expected to service about 130,000 people in Northwestern province.

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