The Tamale Public Health Reference Laboratory yesterday Thursday, April 30, began testing of Covid-19 blood samples gathered from the five regions in the northern sector.
Head of the facility, Dr Abass Abdul Karim confirmed to thecustodianghnline.com that, about 300 blood samples have arrived from the Upper West, Northern, Savannah and North East regions for testing.
But samples from the Upper East region, he noted, were yet to arrive at the laboratory.
He said the capacity of the facility can run between 300 and 600 Covid-19 blood samples tests daily.
Dr Abdul Karim added that due to emergency of the crisis, about 35 healthcare workers have been mobilized from Ghana Health Service, the Tamale Teaching Hospital and the University for Development Studies to complement the staff strength at the laboratory.
He reiterated the Tamale Public Health Reference Laboratory is ready to commence work.
Dr Abdul Karim believes this will ease the pressure on the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research (KCCR) and also boost Ghana’s ability to carry out more testing at a faster pace.
He added that the cost government always incurs to transport samples of coronavirus suspected cases will reduce drastically.
Dr Abass further hinted that the turnaround time for results of samples tested will be maximum 24hours.
The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Sa-eed after paying a working visit to the laboratory said he was impressed that there is a Covid-19 testing centre now in place in Tamale.
He noted this is an important milestone in the fight against the coronavirus disease.
Mr. Sa-eed stated this will now end the hustles health workers always endure to transport blood samples of suspected cases in the region to the KCCR in Kumasi.
However, the minister on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo encouraged the management and staff of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, particularly the medical team working at the Public Health Reference Laboratory centre to continue their selfless and dedicated service to the country.
“We will continue to pray for you and also intensify the public awareness of the COVID-19 so that, collectively, we will minimize the spread of the disease in the country. So don’t renege on your efforts to serve your country in this period of global crisis” he advised.