The ability to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 has proved vital in the effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. So far, more than 120,000 tests have been conducted in South Africa.
The latest figures show that more than 5,000 people were tested in a single day ad the capacity to do more tests is increasing. South Africans have seen the samples being taken and they’ve seen Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announce COVID-19 test results.
But what goes on between that?
Sophisticated machinery — harnessed by some of the top medical minds — are doing their bit to fight the spread of the disease. Daily, staff at National Health Laboratory Services labs at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital handle thousands of samples containing the virus that has brought the globe to a standstill.
The testing process starts with the delivery of samples before they are sorted at a designated COVID-19 station. Extraction is the process of removing a sample from the swab and it’s then prepared for the testing machine to identify traces of the virus, if it’s present.
“Those results are then analysed and out pathologist authorised those results once it has been placed onto our laboratory information system,” said Dr Florette Treurnicht, Virology HOD at NHLS and Wits.
In other news – Eskom seeks clean energy to repurpose coal-fired power stations
Eskom is seeking low-carbon solutions to repurpose the coal-fired stations that are scheduled for decommissioning, according to tender documents.
The state-owned power company has published an expression of interest for proposals, focusing on its Komati, Grootvlei and Camden coal-fired plants, to reduce “its environmental impact through the establishment of sustainable low-carbon industries at previous carbon-intensive power plants. Read more