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COVID-19

Ministry hopes to clear sizeable backlog of swab samples

May 15, 2021 2:21 pm

The temporary suspension of COVID-19 testing at the Fiji Centre for Disease Control has led to a sizeable backlog of swab tests yet to be processed.

Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong says while their testing capacity has been affected, other sites where tests are conducted remain operational.

The Fiji CDC has been sequestered, with staff onsite, or placed in quarantine facilities.

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Dr Fong says the decontamination of the facility is underway and processing of samples will continue after.

“It just so happen that we are having a lockdown at a time when our testing capability is dropped. If we swab you, we find you we can keep the specimen aside, get the lab back online later tomorrow and then start testing and catching up with all the backlog. The backlog that we have is a sizeable one but we will catch up with it.”

The Permanent Secretary for Health says they bought 50 bottles of bleach, and laboratory staff have been busy scrubbing the walls since last night.

Dr Fong says the Fiji CDC is likely to be back up and running later today following decontamination.

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