Tanzania: Agency Ordered to Give Covid-19 Test Results in 24 Hours

covid-19 coronavirus test pandemic outbreak

Dar es Salaam — The Government Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Prof Abel Makubi, yesterday directed the management of the National Community Health Laboratory to provide Covid-19 test results to samples of people expecting to travel outside the country within 24 hours instead of the previous 72 hours.

Prof Makubi gave the directives yesterday during his meeting with management of the National Community Health Laboratory, medical officers in charge and supervisors of government laboratories as well as private referral hospitals located in Dar es Salaam.

He was speaking after touring the National Community Health Laboratory to discuss means of addressing challenges facing the laboratory, noting that his directives aimed at eliminating complaints from the public.

Prof Makubi said despite of installing the modern systems at the community laboratory, still there were complaints of excessive delay from some hospitals including people planning to travel outside the country, warning that the government would no longer tolerate further deferment.

"Look for better way of ensuring that all Covid-19 test results are provided within 24 hours for those received in Dar es Salam and 48 hours for those tested upcountry," he said, calling for each responsible lab supervisor to comply with the directives in order to end complaints. He said results tracking system between hospitals and the community laboratory should be improved and frequently reviewed, observing that supervisors should efficiently fulfil their duties.

The National Community Health Laboratory should ensure a good system capable of tracking all Covid-19 samples arriving at the facility was put in place, according to him.

He was surprised with reports that some Covid-19 samples have been going missing from the National Community Health Laboratory, leading to repeat of the testing exercise."Loss of samples at the public facility would not be tolerated. My instruction is that from today onwards, there should be no any report of loss of samples brought at the National Community Health Laboratory and any other public lab countrywide," he said.

Speaking on the challenge of inadequate staffs at the National Community Health Laboratory, Prof Makubi said the government has started working on the matter, promising provision of new employees in the near future who are expected to improve efficiency.

According to him, the government has completed installing the new ICT system that will fast track provision of testing results and certificates to people planning to travel outside the country.

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