Torit ready to test COVID-19 samples
Torit hospital, the main referral facility in Eastern Equatoria State can now test for COVID-19 after the national ministry upgraded the Tuberculosis and HIV testing machine to test COVID-19 this week.
According to the hospital’s medical director Dr. Isaac John, the machine can only test about 10-15 samples daily.
He further said testing will only be for those with symptoms and those already in quarantine.
“Recently a team came from Juba and installed the software for testing covid19. Early last week the team came and brought the cartridges that will be used for testing and they trained four lab technicians in the hospital,” said Dr. John.
He added that the state will continue to send samples to Nimule and Juba because of the machine’s capacity.
John said the main challenge facing the fight against the spread of the pandemic is the lack of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in the state, but called for health partners to intervene.
“We got a few but now there is a shortage. Some few weeks ago it was brought but in an isolation ward. It is really a problem but we can only just talk to our partners to help us,” he appealed.
The chairperson for the state task force and director-general in the ministry of health Dr. Elijo Omoro Tahir confirmed that the tests will only be used to test people with symptoms.
He said, “We ran some tests yesterday from suspected cases, two of them one was positive and the other one was negative. The resources we have are limited so we will not test everyone.”
On the other hand, a civil society activist Mr. Ocheng Phillip Clement applauded the high taskforce for securing the testing machine and urged the public to strictly follow COVID-19 preventive measures.