Private laboratories in Uganda have been allowed to carry out COVID-19 tests provided the laboratories are approved by a committee of scientists, a top ministry of health official said here on Thursday.
While issuing an update on the country’s efforts to combat the virus, Ruth Aceng, minister of health, said a private laboratory would only be allowed to carry out the tests provided it can pass the rigorous standards set by the accreditation committee.
Aceng said so far three private laboratories have been allowed to start carrying out COVID-19 tests.
She said Uganda has adequate in-country capacity to test for COVID-19 which started at Uganda Virus Research Institute and has been scaled up to the National Public Health Laboratory, Tororo General Hospital, Mutukula border point, Adjumani Hospital and Makerere University laboratory.
She said 12 other laboratories are ready for operationalization after they were assessed and accredited. Of these, three are public, three private and six research laboratories.
The minister said the private laboratories will charge a fee for the services.
“However, the general public is informed that access to test kits is still a challenge globally and therefore the capacities of the private laboratories may be limited in terms of numbers of tests,” Aceng said.
She advised the public to avoid purchasing fake COVID-19 results, noting that such actions could lead to a surge in the number of infections in the country.
Uganda as of July 29 had a commutative tally of 1,147 cases of COVID-19, 1,028 recoveries and two deaths, according to the health ministry figures.
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