500 more COVID-19 samples to be sent to CARPHA on Monday

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony on Friday afternoon disclosed that an additional 500 COVID-19 samples will be sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Trinidad and Tobago for testing.

The Health Minister told media operatives during a virtual press briefing that this will assist in further reducing the backlog of samples.  Currently, there is approximately 900 COVID-19 samples to be tested.  This is a drastic reduction from the 1900 samples which were backlogged.

Last Monday, 500 COVID-19 test samples which were sent to the CARPHA are expected to return today.  During a recent interview with Minister Anthony, he explained that the backlog was a result of the increased testing.

The Health Minister indicated that several measures have been explored and executed to facilitate testing of the increased number of samples. These include more Medical Technologists being trained to run samples, 24-hour shifts being implemented to have more samples processed, along with the procurement of an automated Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Machine which will cut testing time from on average of about nine hours to two hours.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.