South Africa: In Eastern Cape, More Than 20,000 Still Await Their COVID-19 Results


Logistical problems have led to no test kits for coronavirus infections being delivered to Eastern Cape laboratories where test results are lagging by up to three weeks.

Testing for coronavirus infections has slowed down at an alarming pace in the Eastern Cape after no extraction and test kits could be delivered to the province's laboratories due to "logistical challenges", according to the National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS).

The area manager for the NHLS in the province, Tabita Makula, stated in a letter addressed to the Eastern Cape Legislature's Health Portfolio Committee that the province's testing strategy will have to change.

In an article published in Daily Maverick on 1 June, several experts in infectious disease also called for a change in testing strategy.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Monday that the province now had 4,111 patients who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to the Department of Health, more than 21,000 test results are outstanding. Data from the province's two metros, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City, shows that between 3% and 5% of tested cases have a positive result.

The current waiting period for non-prioritised samples in the province is more than two...

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