WATCH: Inside SA's biggest COVID-19 testing lab

The ability to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 has proved vital in the effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. eNCA’s Barry Bateman takes an exclusive look inside the National Health Laboratory Services labs at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The ability to conduct mass testing for COVID-19 has proved vital in the effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

So far, more than 120,000 tests have been conducted in South Africa.

The latest figures show that more than 5,000 people were tested in a single day ad the capacity to do more tests is increasing.  

READ: SA rolls out mobile testing in virus lockdown

South Africans have seen the samples being taken and they’ve seen Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announce COVID-19 test results

But what goes on between that?

Sophisticated machinery -- harnessed by some of the top medical minds -- are doing their bit to fight the spread of the disease.

READ: COVID-19 related death toll in SA rises to 65

Daily, staff at National Health Laboratory Services labs at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital handle thousands of samples containing the virus that has brought the globe to a standstill.

The testing process starts with a delivery of samples before they are sorted at a designated COVID-19 station.

Extraction is the process of removing a sample from the swab and it's then prepared for the testing machine to identify traces of the virus, if it's present.

"Those results are then analysed and out pathologist authorised those results once it has been placed onto our laboratory information system,” said Dr Florette Treurnicht, Virology HOD at NHLS and Wits.

Source
eNCA