FILE PHOTO: A scientific employee dressed in non-public protecting apparatus (PPE) takes a swab pattern from a person, as South Africa begins to calm down some sides of a stringent national coronavirus illness (COVID-19) lockdown in Diepsloot close to Johannesburg, South Africa, May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa has a backlog of greater than 96,000 unprocessed specimens watching for coronavirus tests, the well being ministry mentioned on Friday, reflecting what it referred to as an international scarcity of take a look at kits.

The nation has taken some of probably the most decisive measures at the African continent to take on the unfold of the virus, undertaking probably the most tests and enforcing one of its strictest lockdowns.

But it’s discovering it arduous to ramp up checking out up to it would really like as a result of some international providers are not able to fulfill its call for for laboratory kits, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize mentioned in parliament this week.

South Africa had recorded 27,403 showed coronavirus circumstances and 577 deaths as of Thursday, out of some 655,000 folks examined.

The well being ministry mentioned in a commentary that as of May 25, the newest date for which it gave knowledge, unprocessed specimens watching for tests stood at 96,480.

“This problem is led to by means of the restricted availability of take a look at kits globally,” it mentioned.

There used to be a backlog of 101,007 unprocessed throat swabs and saliva samples on May 21 and 58,930 on May 14. The ministry mentioned it used to be prioritising processing tests for sufferers admitted in hospitals and healthcare employees, whilst additionally accumulating specimens from group screening.

“The complete global is scrambling to get the entire kits, the laboratory kits, and that’s the place we’re in reality getting squeezed now,” Mkhize informed parliament.

“We want society to take into account that that is now turning into a constraint. It’s now not such a lot our capability, greater than it’s about whether or not the worldwide providers are in a position to answer our requests.”

Reporting by means of Alexander Winning; Editing by means of Tom Brown

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