Health

Public urged to follow right channels getting COVID-19 tests

Summary

sed testing laboratories are allowed to issue SARS-CoV-2 testing certificates, and SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Tests (Ag-RDT) can only be conducted by healthcare workers or personnel trained in conducting such tests.He, however, said health wor…

sed testing laboratories are allowed to issue SARS-CoV-2 testing certificates, and SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Tests (Ag-RDT) can only be conducted by healthcare workers or personnel trained in conducting such tests.

He, however, said health workers or medical personnel are not allowed to disclose and issue SARS-CoV-2 test results, except if such person is the requesting or referral officer, for medical purposes only and not for travelling purposes.

“The correct specimen to be used is dependent on the type of specimen collection tool as indicated for the kit which is either nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal specimen. Ag-RDT kits are only valid for use after an in-country validation of the kit has been conducted by an authorised COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing laboratory and evaluation by the Namibia Medicines Regulatory Council has been concluded,” said Nangombe.

Currently, in Namibia only the Panbio (Abbott) and SD Biosensor (Standard Q) have been validated and all other new brands of kits will need to be validated by an authorised COVID-19 PCR testing laboratory.

Namibia currently has 10 authorised COVID-19 testing laboratories: Namibia Institute of Pathology, PathCare, University of Namibia Molecular Laboratory, Central Veterinary Laboratory, Namib Laboratories, Namdeb Molecular Laboratory, NamPath Laboratory, Namibia Central Pathology, National Diagnostic Laboratory and High Care Laboratory.

“Only laboratories authorised to test for SARS-CoV-2 Ag-RDT and PCR can issue a certificate to travellers. These must display the official stamp of that laboratory as authentication of the results. A test result is valid if it has a stamp other than that of the official testing laboratory,” he said, adding that all travellers entering the country must present authentic Ag-RDT and PCR results from a reputable laboratory and must be verifiable. In cases where results are not verifiable, a retest might be ordered at the cost of the traveller.

Nangombe also said that all positive and negative results should be communicated to the ministry for contact tracing and surveillance purposes using the official reporting channel.

Source: Namibia Press Agency