By Ana Mano
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Despite Brazil’s backlog of more than 90,000 specimens awaiting coronavirus testing and a rising death toll, laboratories are idle due to a lack of materials, the agriculture ministry said.
Brazil’s agriculture ministry told Reuters in a written response to questions earlier this week that seven labs it had made available for coronavirus testing and which were cleared by the health regulator two weeks ago are still not being used for tests.
The ministry said the facilities could process an initial 12,000 tests per week but are not receiving the necessary reagents for testing.
Separately, Brazil’s agronomics research agency Embrapa, which falls under the agriculture ministry, said its labs could process almost 43,000 tests per day.
In an emailed response to questions, Brazil’s Health Ministry did not directly address why the…