Nurses to collect COVID-19 samples from EC patients whose tests were ‘lost’

46 days ago

CAPE TOWN - The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) has deployed nurses to the Eastern Cape to collect fresh samples from suspected COVID-19 patients whose tests were lost in transit.

A passer-by on Monday discovered dozens of samples discarded alongside the N2 between King Williams Town and East London.

The Eastern Cape has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as troubling stories emerge about a general lack of readiness even as COVID-19 cases rise rapidly.

Officials dispatched to investigate the incident found 80 samples scattered in the area. They've confirmed that the bulk of the samples were from suspected COVID-19 patients.

The NHLS said that it outsourced its courier services to Gibela Trade and Invest and that company is responsible for ensuring specimens are transported between health facilities and laboratories.

The matter has been reported to the police and NHLS management has requested a full report from the courier service on the incident.

An initial report suggests the loss of the samples might have been accidental and that they fell off the bakkie transporting them when its canvas cover flew open.

All affected patients have been contacted to have their specimens collected again.

National government considers its testing campaign one of the key pillars in the fight against COVID-19, with the mass testing campaign crucial to determining public health interventions.

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This article first appeared on EWN : Nurses to collect COVID-19 samples from EC patients whose tests were ‘lost’



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