People who are waiting for Covid-19 swab test results may expect several delays for a day because laboratories are encountering a sudden wave of swabs being sent every day, said Daniel Tan, the chief executive officer of Parkway Laboratories.
He noted that the number of swabs being sent currently is almost double the average amount of swabs last month. However, he opted not to disclose said figures because he feels like they are too overwhelming to discuss, according to Asia one.
Not Enough Equipments
According to Dr. Tan, the pieces of equipment being used to process the swabs are being used fully and the laboratory technicians are working 16 to 18 hours a day ever since two weeks ago and some staff even volunteering to go to the lab on their days off.
“This has been the busiest I’ve been since I joined in 2017. It’s even busier than the first wave last year as we did not have as much testing capacity then,” he said.
The IHH Healthcare Singapore is presiding over Parkway Laboratories, the laboratory is currently receiving swabs from four IHH Healthcare hospitals, 200 general practitioner’s clinics, prisons, nursing homes, and migrant worker’s dormitories.
Singapore is taking aggressive action to contain further community transmissions of the Covid-19 virus via mass testing and swab testing occurring in different places across Singapore, including Swab and Send Home clinics.
Innoquest Diagnostics, another independent laboratory, is also plagued with a sudden surge of swab arrivals that causes delays even in the most immediate cases.
Since May 17th, the laboratory received 15,000 to 20,000 swabs daily, which is three times more than the average 5,000 to 7,000 swabs received daily in April.
Innoquest Diagnostics is currently processing Covid-19 swab tests for 500 general practitioner’s clinics, both public and private hospitals, and swabbing centers. According to Ginny Foo, its chief executive, the added workload may cause substantial delays for up to six to 12 hours for even the most urgent cases.
For the least urgent swabs who normally take 12 hours may now be delayed for up to 24 hours or more.
The process doesn’t even include the amount of time spent for swabbing, logistics, and sending results to the National Electronic Health Record system.
As a course of action to alleviate the current problem, labs are currently acquiring more machines and hiring more staff to accommodate the sudden surge.
According to Dr. Tan, Parkway Laboratories has been running for 24 hours a day seven days a week since the onslaught of the pandemic last year. It has been increasing the staff to man the laboratory in full scale, even operating on weekends to accommodate swabs being sent in those days.
The lab has been utilizing its staff on its full range even those in administration to accommodate registration of swabs. The drivers on dispatch who are in charge of the logistics have been working hard to transport Covid-19 swab test kits to clinics to avoid running out of supply.
Parkway laboratories even do draconian measures to ensure that swabs that are essential are being first in line to be processed first.
Dr. Tan said, “Clinically urgent swabs are put in the priority queue so that we can get results very quickly and any Covid-19 positive results can be acted upon swiftly.”
As for Ms. Foo of Innoquest Diagnostics, she said: “We need to recruit more medical technologists to perform tests as well as dispatch and van drivers to go collect the samples. We are hiring very aggressively now.
It is clear that Singapore is on the verge of an endgame with the Covid-19 pandemic and they are taking all the necessary measures to end this medical nightmare. Speaking of endgame and desperate measures, mbs casino offers interesting bonuses for you to up your gambling game, feel free to check it out.