Ministry of Health has increased the number of Covid-19 testing sites nationwide to increase access to testing amid reports of test kits depletion in most sites.
In a press statement issued on Sunday, the ministry announced the provision of Covid-19 testing services in 164 centres nationwide, including 15 laboratories conducting PCR tests while the rest are conducting antigen tests.
The centres include some private hospitals that are charging for the services.
But a spot check yesterday revealed that some centres included on the list are not providing the service. For example, at Nthalire Health Centre in Chitipa, some staff members who spoke on condition of anonymity disclosed that they were yet to receive communication that the facility is a Covid-19 testing site.
S a i d t h e s o u r c e : “Currently, we do not have any test kits to conduct the tests.”
In Nkhata Bay District, Chintheche Rural Hospital which caters for Nkhata Bay South was supplied with only 25 test kits.
In an interview, Nkhata Bay District Health Office spokesperson Christopher Singini said the test kits were part of the 1 500 kits supplies meant for screening learners and not for routine testing.
In the island district of
Likoma, Chima Health Centre is also yet to be equipped with resources, including adequate health care workers, that qualify it to be a Covid-19 testing site.
But in an interview, Likoma district director of health and social services Gracewell Mathewe said the facility is not far from the main hospital; hence, it will be supported.
The situation is fair in Thyolo where its district director of health and social services Arnold Jumbe said they have enough test kits to last a week.
“We have about 600 test kits and we are now preparing to have more for boarding school assessment when the students return to school,” he said.
In Nsanje, which has three testing sites, they are also expecting a replenishment of Covid-19 supplies from the ministry of Health within the week, according to its district director of health and social services Gilbert Chapweteka