The Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) will be extending its Covid-19 samples testing capacity to its laboratory at Oshakati in the Oshana region to reduce the backlog in the country.
According to the NIP marketing and corporate affairs chief Johannes Clemens, the institution has decided to turn the Oshakati laboratory into a result processing centre.
“All the preparations are ready and we will be sending our specialists that underwent special training on how to operate the two machines that are currently being used to test the samples,” said Clemens.
He further explained that NIP uses three machines to test samples, saying technicians have received training on how to operate the testing
Technicians also received training on how to conduct the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests which Clemems said are reliable because it tests the DNA which is not the same in individuals.
“You could compare a PCR method to your fingerprint which is unique to one person. It drills down to genetics … which make it reliable like your fingerprint,” he related.
The PCR method is used to rapidly make millions of copies of specific DNA samples, allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail.
“When that spike came, it exceeded our capacity to test. When we started testing, we were doing below 50 tests per day; we moved to 90, then 200, and this was before Erongo and Walvis Bay,” he said.
Clemens also said some of the tests are being processed at the PathCare laboratory.