The dramatic increase in suspected COVID-19 cases in Africa has placed an enormous burden on public and private clinical facilities. To date, the most commonly used method for identifying and confirming the virus is the laboratory-based reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. Unfortunately, testing capacities have been limited in many parts of Africa because of inadequate test kits, which have restricted scaling up beyond the few public health laboratories at designated locations. In this mini-review, we present Africa's preparedness and readiness for testing, why testing is crucial, the need to immediately strengthen existing facilities, and what it involves as part of combined approaches for managing the COVID-19 crisis. The review highlights the urgent need for speedy expansion and distribution of several laboratory testing platforms, including real-time PCR and serological assays to both public health facilities and fully accredited private clinical laboratories.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We sincerely thank the German Research Foundation through the Neurocognition and Action-Biomechanics Research Group , Bielefeld University, Germany for providing financial support for the publication of this research.
© 2020 The Author(s)
- Test kits