April 24, 2020
CICM has been an active contributor to the response and fight against SARS-COV-2 in Madagascar since the virus first arrived on the island in March 2020. Since April, the centre has been performing molecular diagnosis of the illness using rt-PCR and genXpert techniques and providing training for technicians and biologists.
The health monitoring, epidemiology surveillance and response division (DVSSER) and the ministry of public health are coordinating these activities. The samples processed come from the hospitals and health centres of the island’s various regions, sent by the project’s coordinators.
All the centre’s technical personnel are involved in this activity. The diagnosis is made on nasopharyngeal, nasal or oropharyngeal swabs. For rt-PCR analysis, inactivation and viral lysis of the sample are performed at level P2+ of the Rodolphe Mérieux laboratory. The centre’s biological safety measures have been adapted according to the pathogenic level of this virus. Samples are processed within an average of 72 hours, from reception to the issue of results. With the genXpert method, the results can be delivered 3 hours after the samples are received, on average.
An average of 90 samples are processed per day, including monitoring cases, suspected cases and contact cases. Most of the samples come from the Analamanga region. To date, more than 5,000 tests have been performed by CICM.
CICM’s Covid-19 activities also include a research element, notably on nosocomial transmission among healthcare personnel working at the university hospitals Joseph Raseta Befelatanana, Anosiala and Andohatapenaka, the capital’s centres for COVID-19 treatment.