Covid test backlog at 4 000

By Tracy Tafirenyika

NAMIBIA has a total backlog of more than 4 000 Covid-19 results, a reality that has created delays in the isolation and quarantining of those found positive of the virus.

A snap survey by Confidente shows that people tested for Covid-19 in Windhoek are taking as long as seven to 14 days before getting their results owing to the huge number of people being tested every day.

Bemoaning the backlog, Namibia Institute of Pathology CEO, David Uirab said there is expectation that the backlog will further grow because of the influx of samples being sent from the health ministry to the NIP laboratories.

“We are still having a significant backlog and we have not been able to finish with the samples because of our capacity,” Uirab said emphasising that demand for tests has outweighed testing capacity.

He went on to say that in the Erongo region, the number of samples NIP receives is more than the number of samples that can be tested in a single day.

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“The danger of delaying results is that if someone is positive and only receives results after three to four days, he or she can expose others in that same period”.

NIP has now expanded its testing from 25 tests up to 700 a day; however, Uirab affirms that the institute can still not cope with the required tests per day.

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“We have started testing in Oshakati and we also do some limited testing in Keetmanshoop and Walvis Bay. While there is Pathcare and Unam who are also testing, NIP is receiving 500 to 800 samples to test on an average a day.

There are days when we can even get 1 600 samples so you can just imagine,” he added.