Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital in Haa Dhaalu Atoll commenced conducting COVID-19 diagnostic tests on Sunday.
According to Kulhudhuffushi Regional Hospital, the PCR machines installed at the facility could currently process 72 samples per day.
However, the hospital noted that the machines could be used at maximum capacity after additional staff receive the required training.
Two lab technologists from Kulhudhuffushi have completed three weeks of training at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in the capital city.
"This is a great convenience to citizens living in this region", stated an official from the hospital.
Funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO), efforts to install the PCR machines in Kulhudhuffushi were managed by Wavelength private limited.
With this development, Kulhudhuffushi became the second location outside the capital city of Male' at which a COVID-19 diagnostic test can be carried out. The first coronavirus test outside the capital was conducted at Addu Equatorial Hospital (AEH) on June 21.
In addition to Addu City and Kulhudhuffushi City, COVID-19 tests can be conducted from IGMH, ADK and the police forensic service.
The Ministry of Health has revealed that GeneXpert cartridges donated by WHO would be used to commence testing for COVID-19 in six more atolls across the country:
- Shaviyani Atoll Hospital in Funadhoo, Shaviyani Atoll
- Ungoofaaru Regional Hospital in Ungoofaaru, Raa Atoll
- Baa Atoll Hospital in Eydhafushi, Baa Atoll
- Gan Regional Hospital in Gan, Laamu Atoll
- Gaafu Alif Atoll Hospital in Villingili, Gaafu Alif Atoll Atoll
- Dr Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital in Thinadhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu
With this development, total nine regions across the country will be provided with the equipment and capability to test for the coronavirus, including hospitals in the capital Greater Male' Region.