MORE than 13,000 COVID-19 tests had been undertaken since in country testing commenced.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his nationwide address today said most of these tests were done during the quarantine period.
“We have also done pre-departure tests,” he said.
The Prime Minister said over the past month authorities have instituted COVID-19 testing on the crew of all logging vessels that enter the country because they take stevedores on these vessels for up to 4-6 weeks.
Prime Minister Sogavare said at the end of the logging-run all the stevedores are tested before they disembark.
“The costs of these tests are being met by the logging companies. Most of the swabbing and analysis of the tests for logging vessels crews and stevedores are done by our swabbing team and laboratory stationed at Gizo hospital,” he said.
The Prime Minister said in Honiara, all pre-departure testing will soon be done at the Public Health laboratory located at SINU.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Molecular laboratory at the NRH will focus of all the other testing.
He said the COVID-19 testing capacity at Kilu’ufi hospital will shortly be operational with the installation of the appropriate software on the laptop linked to the GeneXpert now completed.
“Molecular lab technicians will shortly be deployed to operationalize the testing capability at Kilu’ufi hospital,” the Prime Minister said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said work to expand the laboratory at the Taro hospital to accommodate the GeneXpert and biosafety equipment is progressing well.