Increased testing finds more COVID-19 cases

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Since assuming office, the new PPP/C Administration has prioritised increased testing for the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). As a result, since August 3, 2020, two-hundred-and-sixty-three (263) new COVID-19 cases have been identified, from all across the country.

Following a rapid assessment conducted after the first few days in office, the Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, discovered that positive cases were understated under the previous APNU+AFC Administration, as testing was not conducted on a wide scale.

Minister Anthony noted the claims that Regions Five and Six were COVID-free; this was false as no testing was being done in these areas.

After both His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and the Minister of Health, publicly declared that mass testing will begin, support has been pouring in from several donor agencies. Moreover, several thousand test kits have been acquired.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony, in an interview last week, revealed that the PPP/C Government has “started to do more testing. We have streamlined the laboratory to ensure that we can do more testing, and we have placed more testing kits in the various Regions.”

With the increased testing, the need for more staff to work and support this new mode of operation became evident.

In this regard, the Health Ministry has been extensively planning ways in which teams can be made available to facilitate the ramped-up testing exercise.

There are plans on stream for the laboratories to work on a 24-hour basis. This will allow for a faster turn around time of samples being processed. Also, laboratories in regional hospitals will be able to process tests for their respective regions, while private laboratories in the city will lend support in processing samples.

Today, a two-day training session commenced for medical laboratory technologists, facilitated by the Minister and PAHO/WHO.

In his opening remarks at the training, Minister Anthony noted that the exercise will qualify more persons to ensure there is a faster turnaround time for results.

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