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General News of Tuesday, 21 April 2020


Coronavirus: A day in the life of a research scientist at Noguchi

Some front liners risking their lives to save others play videoSome front liners risking their lives to save others

It’s general knowledge how deadly the Coronavirus is, especially for persons with weak immune systems, it's also general knowledge that frontline workers and contact tracers are sacrificing so much to contain the spread of the pandemic and investigate cases.

What is not out there, is how much sacrifice these people have to make to get things done and to save everybody else. What Ghanaians don’t know is what actually happens in the testing lab at places like the Noguchi Research Institute.

The spotlight was placed by TV3’s Portia on the inside story. Many of the staff, doing various shifts at the test center, spend hours, outside their homes, close to infected samples, dedicating their time, despite the fact that they are very much exposed.

The process involves a number of things. First, health personnel fill forms that are brought to the center. The samples are disinfected using ethanol. The samples are then labelled and processed for the cold room where testing is done.

Research assistants at the center are constantly on a 12-hour shift, testing from about 2,000 to 2,500 samples.

Speaking in an interview with the broadcaster, some research scientists and virologists at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research revealed the pains they have had to go through, enduring sleepless nights and missing out on the rest of their lives, to get these tests done and to find a solution to this pandemic.

“This is a pandemic, every nation is more or less affected by the pandemic and we have to fight it from all aspects and it is our duty to put together our efforts and find solutions to it.” A staff said.

Dr. Evangelist Obodai, a supervisor and virologist at the research center has had to spend nights outside her family home, ensuring the right things are done and that results from tests are accurate among other things.

“Each time I open the door, sometimes, they (her children) don’t want to sleep, they want to wait for me, the first thing is, they want to hug me, but I tell them, Coronavirus, please wait and let me change and shower. They will just be following me until I’m done and then they give me a long hug.” She said while narrating what she goes through each night since the pandemic broke out.

Meanwhile, the center has tested more than 60,000 samples.

Watch the full video below: