The mega Covid testing laboratory operating at less than 10% of its capacity

Questions were also raised about the skill level of laboratory workers, as an expert source claimed there was no qualified clinician-microbiologist or biologist to oversee the treatment.

Engineers have been called frequently to the site because staff continue to “break the robots” that process the swabs, sources said. “When you load them, it’s kind of like when you load a CD, and if you imagine people pulling out CD players, that’s how it’s going to break. [and] yes, that has happened a lot, ”said one of them.

“The problem with this broken machine is that people do it out of impatience because they have targets they want to hit, and they take things away to speed up the process.”

David Wells, chief executive of the Institute of Biomedical Science, said: “Any staff performing diagnostic testing for Covid-19 should meet the same minimum requirements as any other medical laboratory personnel involved in diagnostic testing.

“It is essential that the Rosalind Franklin Laboratory staff be a highly skilled and regulated professional workforce, in sufficient numbers for the site to operate safely. “

The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs did not respond to requests for comment. It is currently not known how many tests the site processes per day.

Dr Colin Fink, medical director of the infectious disease rapid diagnostics company Micropathology, said his offer to oversee the operation of the facility was rejected.

He added that the name of the facility after Rosalind Franklin, a renowned chemist, was a “travesty” and said: “I’m quite sure she would have been appalled to have her name attached to this setup. second-rate. “

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