The World Health Organization has donated more supplies to the Public Health Laboratory to increase diagnostic capacity in response to the coronavirus pandemic in South Sudan.
According to a statement seen by Eye Radio, the supplies, funded by the European Union, include materials and reagents that support real-time polymerase chain reaction – the gold standard test platform for coronavirus viral detection.
WHO says the items are enough to support testing for over 500 coronavirus samples per day for the next two months.
The COVID-19 incident manager at South Sudan’s ministry of health confirmed that the supplies will facilitate the rapid and accurate detection of the virus.
Dr Richard Laku stated that diagnostic testing is vital in identifying and controlling infection and transmission of epidemics.
The WHO noted that the detection of patients with coronavirus-like symptoms is essential for patient care and isolation in designated facilities.
This, it added, helps in screening close contacts for asymptomatic infection and disease as part of the outbreak investigation.
The organization further announced it is strengthening the National Public Health Laboratory with an ongoing mentoring and support of laboratory staff for accurate and timely disease diagnosis.
WHO believes this will contribute significantly to the coronavirus response through communicable disease surveillance and outbreak detection.
This also includes establishing contact tracing and management of confirmed cases.
Since the declaration of the COVID-19 outbreak on 5 April 2020, a total of 44 077 tests have been conducted in South Sudan.
So far, 2,943 samples have tested positive.
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