THE National Referral Hospital (NRH) is now ready to undertake COVID-19 tests.
And Health minister Dickson Mua said the availability of the COVID-19 testing capability is another milestone achievement of the ministry and all those involved as partners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He was speaking, Wednesday, at the launch of the testing machines donated by China and Australia.
Mua said following the completion of the Molecular Laboratory construction and installment of the two (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) qPCR machines, the country is now ready to test COVID-19 samples.
“The ministry as part of its commitment has developed in-country capacity to prepare and respond to COVID -19 which now able to test for COVID -19 patients in the country,” he said.
Mua said the laboratory is a standard one as it met all requirements to be able to test samples.
He said currently they are looking forward to conducting tests on all the stranded citizens coming in from abroad on their arrival and as well as other tests after they complete their 28 days of quarantine.
“Not only that, all the front-liners who are working at the molecular lab, as well as those who handle the suspected cases, will also undergo testing,” he said.
He thanked Australia and China for their assistance in providing those two qPCR which was installed at the refurbished COVID-19 testing Laboratory at the NRH.
Mua said their assistance has really helped Solomon Islands to build its testing capability of the COVID-19.
He said the machines can conduct around 1000 tests and it takes only five hours to get the results.
“Previously, the NRH and the MHMS depends entirely on expertise on the Virology Laboratory in Australia as we all know to support test of COVID-19 but today we have our very own testing laboratory with now a short period of time to know the results unlike previously we have to wait for up to five to seven days before we obtain the results,” he said.
By IAN M.KAUKUI