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Seven laboratories accredited to test migrant workers for Covid-19

Covid-19 testing of migrant workers has been limited to only accredited laboratories. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health has accredited seven laboratories to test migrant workers for Covid-19.

The selected laboratories are MBN Laboratory, MAIA Group labs, Makerere University hospital, Test and Fly and City Medicals Laboratory. Others are Same Day Lab and Safari Laboratory (at Entebbe Airport).

Last week, security officers at Entebbe International Airport removed 40 migrant workers on a Qatar Airways flight before takeoff over fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

The migrant workers all under Premier Recruitment Ltd, had already boarded the Qatar Airways aircraft, but were asked to disembark from the plane. The officers approached the airline crew and said the workers must disembark from the plane because they had presented fake COVID-19 vaccination cards and therefore cannot be allowed to leave the country.

After finding some Ugandan migrant workers travelling to the Middle East with fake COVID-19 test certificates, the government ordered retesting of all migrant workers going abroad to ensure that the COVID-19 tests of all the migrant workers meet international health regulations.

Spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona says that for purposes of quality assurance, Ministry of health officials will be deployed at each of the seven laboratories to supervise the testing process.

Last week, the Health Ministry suspended Selmek Medical Services Ltd from testing Covid-19 samples due to a high rate of fake results reported at Entebbe Airport and other laboratories.

Ainebyoona says the facility was identified during the re-testing of migrant workers two weeks ago.

“Most of the workers who had fake results said their samples were collected by Selmek Medical Services. So the ministry has suspended the facility from testing samples,” Ainebyoona says.

He adds that the facility is not even among the MOH accredited laboratories for testing Covid-19 samples.

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