Laboratory machines worth TOP$137,000 which were used in New Zealand and the UK to test whether a patient has contracted the coronavirus were expected to start arriving in Tonga tomorrow April 8, the Ministry of Health said.
But the machines could not be used until later this month when the PCR testing machine from the UK was expected to arrive in New Zealand on April 17 before it was transported to Tonga, Dr ‘Ana ‘Akau’ola, was quoted in a statement as saying.
Known as Polymerase Chain Reaction testing or PCR, the machines can be used for detecting coronavirus and other complicated viral diseases.
Reports said these machines would help ramp up the testing process by analysing 1,000 samples, if run for 12 hours continuously and 2000 samples in 24 hours.
Dr ‘Akau’ola said the TOP$90,000 machine from New Zealand could analyse 96 samples, probably within an hour while the TOP$47,000 machine from the UK analyses 17 samples.
She said lab professionals in Australia offered to help in setting up the machines and providing assistance.
Tonga is one of 18 countries in the world that is CoViD-19 free after the Minister of Health announced yesterday the latest group of five people to be quarantined on suspicion of having Covid-19 had been cleared and released.
Despite this the government has put the kingdom on lockdown, curfew and in a state of emergency in a bid to stop the introduction or spread of the coronavirus disease.