Uganda procures mobile laboratories to accelerate COVID-19 tests

April 19, 2020

Uganda has procured two mobile polymerase chain reaction (PCR) laboratories to accelerate COVID-19 tests on cross-border cargo drivers, a health official said.

The PCR laboratories will help on-site testing and shorten the time to transport samples to the country’s top laboratory Uganda Virus Research Institute, Health Minister, Ruth Aceng said in a televised address.

“They will be deployed at congested border points to quicken testing and return of results,’’ Aceng said.

Uganda has intensified the screening, testing and tracking of cargo transporters at the border entry points after three cross-border cargo drivers tested positive for the virus in less than five days.

According to a government directive, cargo drivers can continue their journey even before getting their results.

It will take a long time to get the results as the samples have to be transported for a long distance.

An average of 2,500 trucks enters Uganda every day, according to the Health Ministry.

Uganda has reported 55 cases with 20 recoveries since the index case was reported on March 21

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