ADK Hospital installs a COVID-19 testing system

ADK Hospital installs a PCR system to expand national COVID-19 testing capacity on May 13, 2020. (Photo/ADK Hospital)

ADK Hospital, on Wednesday, announced it has installed a system at its laboratory which is capable of conducting COVID-19 testing.

While virus cases in Maldives has now risen above 900, only the main government hospital Indhira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and Maldives Police Service’s forensics department have systems capable of conducting COVID-19 testing.

ADK Hospital’s managing director Ahmed Afaal told Sun on Wednesday that the hospital had brought in a real-time PCR system through ADK Trade and Shipping.

Afaal said the hospital was currently working on installing the system and training its staff to use the system.

He noted that the standard procedure required for technical experts to be brought in to conduct the training, but that because of the pandemic, the training was being conducted remotely.

“We are currently in the middle of the installation and training process. We expect to be able to begin testing next week,” said Afaal.

The Roche LightCycler PCR system brought in by ADK Hospital is capable of processing 500 samples per day.

Afaal said the hospital had also received some test kits along with the system.

Afaal said the hospital planned on procuring more test kits in the future, in support of increasing the testing capacity and testing rate in Maldives.

Health experts have said they expect a surge in virus cases by the end of May, but have warned that the surge in infections may not be properly identified if the testing capacity isn’t increased.