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Gov’t to collect 20% revenues from Covid labs

Author: Koang Pal Chang | Published: Saturday, July 10, 2021

Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi, head of the National Coronavirus Taskforce and vice president for Service Cluster | Credit | Eye Radio

Private Covid-19 testing laboratories will be required to remit 20 percent of their revenues to the government, according a directive by the Vice President for Service Cluster.

In a document dated 21 June seen by Eye Radio, the Covid-19 task force headed by Hussein Abdelbagi wrote to the Ministry of Health to direct all authorized Covid-19 testing laboratories in Juba to remit 20 percent of their collections.

However, the manager of one of the private laboratories has decried the directive, saying it would hurt their business, and citizens the most, if implemented.

“We got this message three-days ago from the office of the VP, the chairman of the task force. The directive on 20%, will hurt the citizens most,” Flex Michael Milli, the manager of Med Blue Laboratory, told Eye Radio on Saturday.

“Now, if we implement the 20% directive, we will be forced to increase the cost because our business will also suffer.”

Most Covid-19 laboratories charge between 20 – 50 US dollars or its equivalent per test for nationals. For foreigners, the charges are slightly higher.

Abdelbagi, who is also the chair of Services Cluster stated in the memo that the collections should be remitted to the account of the National Taskforce on Covid-19 Pandemic in the Central Bank “for transparency and accountability.”

The letter directed to the former health undersecretary Dr. Mayen Acheik Machut, called on all Covid-19 testing laboratories to adhere to the directive.

Dr. Mayen was sacked last week by the president in unexplained circumstances.

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