Ministry cuts Covid-19 testing cost to UGX36,000 as cases surpass 25000

The cost of Covid-19 testing is likely to drop from about UGX 360, 000 ($100) to UGX 36,000 ($10), a senior official of the National Health Laboratory Services has revealed to the Daily Express News.

Dr Isaac Ssewanyana the director of Uganda National Health Laboratory Services says that with the introduction of rapid test kits, clients will get their result after ten minutes.

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He said the performance of the kits which they have been evaluating for the last two weeks, is promising.

“We have been evaluating the rapid test kits for the last two weeks that allow us to get result in a short time. They [kits] are giving us fair results, they performed to a level which is acceptable,” he said on Wednesday.

He said that there is an improvement in the quality of the RDTs which are being imported which makes them believe that the cost of testing the virus will drop significantly.

Dr Ssewanyana said that they currently they are able to conduct 4,500 tests in all the laboratories in the country at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, Joint Clinical Research Centre, Mild May, Infectious Diseases Institute and at several border posts.

He said they are currently importing the kits from South Korea and the United States of America.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health registered 1,199 new Covid-19 infections with 12 virus deaths.

Uganda now has 25,059 confirmed cases Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the United States through the U.S. Department of Defence Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)has donated COVID-19 testing reagents and personal protective equipment valued at $1.87 million.

U.S. Embassy Kampala’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr Christopher M. Krafft said at a hand-over ceremony at Uganda’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday that they will continue to work hand-in-hand with their Ugandan partners to overcome this pandemic.

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