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Covid-19 testing backlog: NHLS gradually reducing unprocessed tests, parliament hears | News24

Covid-19 testing backlog: NHLS gradually reducing unprocessed tests, parliament hears | News24

The NHLS is making inroads in the testing backlog.

The NHLS is making inroads within the testing backlog.

  • On Wednesday, the backlog of Covid-19 assessments within the nation was 63 244.
  • The backlog has been reducing because the final week of Might.
  • The NHLS has the capability to do 35 000 assessments a day, however the availability of take a look at kits, a world downside, hampers this.

The Nationwide Well being Laboratory Providers (NHLS) is working onerous to make inroads into the backlog of Covid-19 assessments, and based on the statistics supplied to each homes of Parliament’s well being committees, they’re making progress.

On 25 Might, the “actual determine of specimens that haven’t been processed” was 96 480, the Division of Well being confirmed after much confusion.

On Wednesday, the NHLS knowledgeable the committees the backlog is 63 244.

“As of eight June 2020, the NHLS has performed 492 704 assessments,” NHLS CEO Kamy Chetty instructed the MPs.

She mentioned the NHLS has elevated the variety of assessments completed every month with a large improve within the variety of assessments being carried out in the course of the month of Might, the place the figures greater than doubled between April and Might.


Within the first week of June, 105 023 assessments had been completed. That is already nearly half of the 232 862 assessments that had been completed in the entire of Might and greater than April’s 94 203 assessments. In March, 6 341 assessments had been completed and, in February, 276.

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Within the Western Cape, the province with the overwhelming majority of the nation’s Covid-19 circumstances, 114 381 assessments had been completed by eight June, with 21 232 constructive circumstances and 814 inconclusive.

The Western Cape has a positivity price of 18.56%, a lot larger than the nationwide common of 5.9%. The Jap Cape has the second highest positivity price with 5.4%.

Unprocessed specimens are specimens which were at a laboratory for longer than three days after it has been registered.

An inexpensive time to clear a pattern by means of the laboratory, if all take a look at kits and sources can be found, is 48 to 72 hours.

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The downward development within the backlog is illustrated by the next: On 21 Might, the backlog was 101 000 specimens; by 25 Might, it was 96 480; by 28 Might, it was 83 767; by Four June, it was 81 069; by 6 June, it was 70 219; and by 10 June, it was 63 244.

Whereas the NHLS’ equipment offers it the capability to do 35 000 assessments a day, it solely does about 10 000 due to the provision of the take a look at kits.

Chetty mentioned every one that is examined is suggested to self-isolate for 14 days, which ought to forestall individuals from spreading the illness. Due to this fact, the backlog itself should not be affecting individuals’s behaviour.

She mentioned the specimens had been saved underneath very particular situations, so there should not be any contamination.

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