(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Inquiries made into discarded Covid-19 test kits

CAPE TOWN- The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) is investigating how 80 Covid-19 samples were found discarded on the side of the road in the Eastern Cape. 

The samples were found by a passerby on Monday alongside the N2 between King William’s Town and East London.

Gibela Trade and Invest, the company responsible for transporting swabs and specimens to their laboratories said the kits “fell off” the bakkie as the canvas cover opened without the driver realising it.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has called on the courier company outsourced to transport the samples to be fired.

In a radio interview Mkhize said that the incident was disappointing and he suggested the services of the courier company be suspended. 

The bulk of the samples were for Covid-19 testing. Nurses will now have to re-test samples from the affected patients.

In a statement the NHLS said the incident has been reported to the police and that Gibela Trade and Invest is to provide a full report on what caused the incident. 

“Further investigations will take place and the NHLS will take the appropriate legal action against the supplier. The NHLS has contacted all the affected patients and deployed nurses to recollect the samples.”

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CORONAVIRUS MONITOR