THE molecular laboratory at the National Referral Hospital is now stretched to capacity and test results will continue to be delayed as the number of swab samples collected since Wednesday this week increases rapidly.
A statement from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services said since yesterday morning (Thursday 20th January) over 300 samples have been collected and underwent testing and this figure is still rising.
“There is no hiding the fact that only a day or two after confirming a community transmissions that resources are pretty much stretched and what is available and functioning is used by all means to its fullest potential and limits to try the very best to determine the magnitude of spread and bring the transmission under control.
“We are aware and we sympathize with many people today (20th January) who have been swabbed including our very own medical workers at NRH and waited for very long hours, for some even a whole day, to get their COVID-19 test results before either cleared to leave or moved to isolation. We are trying our very best,” the statement said.
It said delays with tests experienced in the past two days will continue with samples collected from medical workers at the National Referral Hospital, those exposed to the positive cases, samples from suspected cases and close contacts of positives from the public.
The statement said it is important to swiftly test medical workers of COVID-19 so that they are cleared and immediately resume their duties without posing any risks to the sick in the wards.
“Every single medical workers is very critical towards the functioning of the hospital as well as our clinics in Honiara and should one is quarantined or isolated, the impact to the flow of shifts and overall man-power including the services will surely be affected,” the Ministry said.
It said these delays have already caused a number of the health workers to vent their frustrations on social media as well as other media platforms.
“…we understand and also expect this to happen during such difficult and unprecedented times.
However, it said the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), National Health Emergency Operation Centre, National Referral Hospital (NRH) Emergency Centre including front-line workers, doctors and nurse, swabbers and contact tracers, public health officers and others are working at their very best to address the current COVID-19 community transmission in Honiara and Malaita Outer Islands and possible threats to several of our provinces.