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South Africa has backlog of over 96,000 coronavirus tests

May 29, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership
JOHANNESBURG: South Africa has a backlog of more than 96,000 unprocessed specimens awaiting coronavirus tests, the health ministry said on Friday, reflecting what it called a global shortage of test kits.

The country has taken some of the most decisive measures on the African continent to tackle the spread of the virus, conducting the most tests and imposing one of its strictest lockdowns.

South Africa had recorded 27,403 confirmed coronavirus cases and 577 deaths as of Thursday, out of some 655,000 people tested.

The health ministry said in a statement that as of May 25, the latest date for which it gave data, unprocessed specimens awaiting tests stood at 96,480.

The ministry said it was prioritising processing tests for patients admitted in hospitals and healthcare workers, while also collecting specimens from community screening.