Takoradi COVID-19 Testing Lab runs out of test kits, as contacts of infected persons surge
The only testing facility in the Western Region; the Takoradi Veterinary Service Laboratory is running out of test kits for COVID-19 testing. Samples taken from suspected infected persons have been pending at the facility for weeks due to this constraint. The test- lab which is a Bio-Safety Level 3 and 2, was built by the Canadian Government to support veterinary services and research. However due to the surge in cases of COVID-19 in the country, the facility has been converted to run test for COVID-19, and primary serves the Western Region, and other parts of the Western North and Central Regions.
Its designed test capacity is a thousand, but for certain reasons, much which has to do with logistics and personnel, managers of the facility anticipated to run three hundred (300) test per day.
In this current crisis, the lab is struggling to even run two-thirds of its target set during its commissioning a month ago.
Head of the Takoradi Veterinary Laboratory, Oliver Boakye Dankwa, disclosed that the numbers trooping in each day is overwhelming. He mentioned that testing kits and other reagents are almost used up, and require replenishing, so they can run test on samples both from suspected persons and contacts of infected ones.
“Currently, we are doing 200 samples a day. Initially, when we started, we anticipated that we could do 300 a day but we are still working around the clock as it is now. We do have challenges and the challenges are usually with the supply. When we started there were only nine cases in the Western Region but since we started testing, we are picking up more positive cases. It has meant that we’ve had to go back and do more testing because we were receiving more contacts from these positive persons so the volume of work keeps increasing. So the things we use such as the kits and reagents can’t meet what we anticipated” he noted.
So far, the Western Region has recorded three hundred and fifty-two (352) cases of COVID-19. Six (6) people have recovered and only one (1) person have passed away.