Western Region runs out of reagents for COVID-19 testing: 3,743 Samples in freezer for 3 months

Ghana Ghana News

The Western Regional Testing Centre for COVID-19 has run out of reagents and other testing logistics, leaving some 3,743 samples collected for COVID-19 testing unattended to.

Some of the samples are as old as three months and have become mere decoration in the storage system of the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital.

The storage facility at the hospital is said to have become full and unable to receive new samples for storage.

Consequently, directives have been given to the districts to store samples collected in those areas until the situation improves.

A source told the Daily Graphic that some of the samples had gone bad and had been thrown away.


Some health professionals in the region expressed fear that the fight against the disease might run into serious trouble if efforts were not made to address the challenges.

The Western Regional Veterinary Officer, Dr Oliver Boakye Danquah, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that officials at the testing centre had become helpless after the laboratory at the Regional Veterinary Services Department (VSD) ran out of reagents for testing for COVID-19.

He said they were not in a position to do anything now, unless they received a new set of reagents.

“We have been promised that there will be supplies and we are still waiting. We don’t store samples here; we do that at the regional referral hospital for safe-keeping,” he said.

Samples pending

Meanwhile, a top health official told the Daily Graphic that other testing centres, particularly the major ones, were so burdened with their own huge numbers of samples for testing that they had been reluctant to receive samples from the Western Region ever since the VSD commenced COVID-19 testing in the region.

It further indicated that the districts in the region had been asked to create isolation centres at their own levels as support for the inadequate isolation spaces in the regional capital.

As of Wednesday, July 15, 2020, the Western Region had recorded 2,218 confirmed cases of COVID-19, out of which 2,178 had been discharged, with three deaths.

Daily Graphic

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