We will block some covid-19 patients, we have no capacity to test everybody- Lancet labs announce

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To all esteemed doctors, clients and the general public,
We wish to announce a one-week selective restriction for COVID-19 PCR testing at Pathologists Lancet Kenya (‘Lancet’) effective from today Sunday the 5th of July 2020 to Saturday 11th of July 2020, during which time we shall selectively restrict our service offering for the SARS-COV-2 PCR tests, with exception of urgent and critical samples submitted from referring hospitals, screening tests for doctors & other healthcare workers, and diagnostic tests for symptomatic and high-risk patients with co-morbidities who have been sent to the laboratory by a referring doctor.

The move to restrict the PCR testing for COVID-19 at our laboratory is to allow our molecular laboratory team to catch- up with and clear a backlog that has accumulated in the PCR laboratory following disruption in workflow at our Main Laboratory as a result of several unexpected audits that took place in the past 2 weeks conducted by various government agencies, including KMPDC and KMLTTB. These audits have all now been successfully concluded. Our testing capacity for COVID-19 PCR test is 552 to a maximum of 1104 samples in 24-hours of uninterrupted workflow.

We aim to also utilize the one-week period to allow our frontline COVID-19 testing team some time-off to rest and rejuvenate, for they have all been working tirelessy round the clock for 2-3 straight continous months handling a relentless surge in the number of COVID-19 test requests especially over the month of June that has continued into July with no respite.

Our frontline laboratory personnel at Pathologists Lancet Kenya – PLK need the physical and mental health break; we shall use this opportunity to facilitate targeted voluntary SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests and IgG ELISA antibody tests for all our staff to check for any active infection and past infection respectively in order to determine our COVID-19 workplace prevalence.

During the one-week period, only the following categories of COVID-19 samples shall be attended to:
1. Hospitalized patients and pre-admission patients referred from hospitals
2. Healthcare workers with symptoms or return to work screening following positive exposure
3. High-risk patients with co-morbidities and a history of exposure as referred by a relevant doctor
4. Corporate clients and institutions with prior contracts for targeted screening overseen by company doctors

We shall not attend to the following categories until further notice:
✖️ Asymptomatic cases of close and low risk contacts requesting testing after exposure
✖️ COVID-19 positive patients requesting follow-up testing unless referred by a doctor already working with Lancet
✖️ Workplace prevalence screening for companies unless there is a prior booking for testing by a company doctor
✖️ Anyone without a doctor’s referral request specifically mentioning a critical clinical indication for testing
✖️ Return to work screening for non-healthcare workers unless referred by a doctor already working with Lancet

This notice for COVID-19 test restriction applies to our Main Laboratory and all our branch laboratories countrywide. The restriction in COVID-19 testing shall be updated by the end of the week ending Sunday 12th July 2020.
Other laboratory services including all routine, specialized and esoteric tests shall continue being offered as normal to all patients and clients. For any queries or concerns, please contact info@lancet.co.ke.

Faithfully yours,

Dr Ahmed Kalebi
MBChB, MMed Path, FCPath (SA) FCPath (ECSA)
Group Managing Director/CEO & Chief Consultant Pathologist

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