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COVID-19 TESTING REDUCTION DUE TO WEAR DOWN OF TESTING EQUIPMENT

The Ministry of Health has disclosed that the reduced number of covid-19 tests being conducted is due to the wearing down of some machines. 
In an exclusive interview with S24 Health news, Head of Pathology and Laboratory tests Dr. Aaron Shibemba disclosed that one of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machines in Mansa broke down and needs spare parts which have been procured from South Africa.
Dr. Shibemba added that Zambia uses Antigen rapid test and real time PCR testing.
“The decline in testing numbers is due to some of the machines that are not functioning now, but they are being looked into. For example in Mansa, we are not testing using the real time PCR machine because the machine broke down, it needs a replacement of a spare part coming from South Africa. As well as at Lewanika General hospital.” 
Dr. Shibemba further explained that as soon as spare parts arrive testing will increase. 
He said the manufacturer and vendor have assured him that the parts will arrive before the end of the week. 
Dr. Shibemba went on to say that the Ministry will escalate testing using rapid tests, and that all guidelines to utilize these tests must be followed strictly.

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