A virologist at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) has revealed that there is a total backlog of 8000 samples that are yet to be tested.
Dr Augustina Sylverken said the number of samples they receive on a daily basis has increased over time thereby increasing the pressure on their testing capacity.
“When this pandemic began, we were just receiving samples in tens, in hundreds then it moved into the 200 to 1000. So now we do day and night. Every time you get into our labs, you will definitely see people testing,” she told Winston Amoah on JOYNEWS’ Upfront show on Thursday.
“We have maybe a little over 8000 but we have given ourselves up to Sunday. Sometimes we can receive 3000, 2500, 1500 but we are able to test 1000 – 1500 daily” the virologist added.
She stated that they have set up other testing centres on the KNUST campus and they are working on setting up a lab at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
“We hope that very soon it will be up and running,” she stated.
Dr Sylverken noted that the team is working intensively to clear the excess in very little time.
She lamented the absence of a technology to enable them speed up testing samples.
“For this particular virus, you need a special containment called a biosafety level (BSL) 4 laboratory but for us and Noguchi we have the biosafety level 3.
“When we receive the sample, we do something known as inactivation because we cannot work with the live virus. This enables us to work on just the genetic aspect (RNA), to say whether the sample is positive or negative,” she explained.
She stated that this prevents them to experiment the new virus to know more about it.
Ghana’s coronavirus case count currently stands at 2,074 with 212 recoveries and 17 deaths.