Busia County has joined the league of a few other counties with close access to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) facilities used to test the Coronavirus.
Speaking during the commissioning of the equipment today, Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong said that this is a major milestone in fighting the pandemic in the country.
Governor Ojaamong said that frontline health workers will be given testing priority.
Other groups expected to be tested first include truck drivers, hotel attendants, and port health workers.
According to Governor Ojaamong, the equipment is capable of testing 100 samples per day with results available in approximately six hours.
The Governor thanked the East African Port Health Laboratory for undertaking training exercise for 25 health workers from the County who will carry out the testing exercise.
He revealed that his government has secured Younear Hotel to be used as a quarantine center for health staff who interact with suspected COVID-19 suspects in order to protect their families.
“We are also introducing a motivational fund to boost the morale of health workers engaged in fighting COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The PCR machine was procured by the World Bank in 2017 at a cost of Sh20m and has now been deployed to test COVID-19.
The testing exercise began immediately, with 15 laboratory staff testing negative for the disease.
The PCR test is the most accurate diagnostic test for determining whether someone is currently infected with the coronavirus.
This is the testing method used in the United States, where about 1 million people have tested positive for the disease.
On the other hand, antibody tests are generally considered less accurate and are mainly used to give a sense of how widely the virus has spread in a population.