The Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) are conducting over 6,000 PCR tests per day, according to CPHL director Dr Nancy El-Guindy.
All PCR tests, conducted as part of effort to detect coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Egypt, are free of charge for citizens who are suspected of having the virus, El-Guindy said.
In a phone call to MBC’s Masr 2 on Wednesday, she said that the central laboratories were providing the testing service for those requesting travel certificates, with each test costing EGP 1,000.
She pointed out that 30 laboratories were set up across Egypt four weeks ago, whilst some hospitals have started accepting patients with the virus, including the Ahmed Maher Hospital, the Abbasiya Chest Hospital, and Al-Matarya Hospital.
El-Guindy had previously told Daily News Egypt that a rapid test, similar to the Hepatitis C test and based on taking blood samples, is also available. This test, however, is used for surveying rather than diagnosing coronavirus cases, whilst PCR tests are used for diagnosing cases of the virus
El-Guindy advised citizens not to go for PCR testing before visiting a hospital and conducting chest x-rays and blood analysis. This advice comes in accordance with criteria outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). She also called for citizens to wear face masks, to limit the spread of infections.
“The COVID-19 virus is similar to influenza but its main problem is the speed of spread with no vaccines having been developed until now,” El-Guindy said. “We need to coexist with the disease whilst undertaking protective measures.”