Results from 500 COVID-19 samples expected to return by Friday

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

The results for the 500 COVID-19 test samples which were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Trinidad and Tobago last Monday are expected to return by Friday the latest, according to Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony.

The samples were sent to the agency for testing.

The samples are a current stock of backlog as a result of the increased testing across the country, which has been occurring since the PPP/C Government took office.

Dr. Anthony disclosed that there is a current backlog of 1,000 samples which has been reduced from 1,900 a few days earlier.

“When we take a sample, it still takes a few days before we can actually get back the results, so we’re working to decrease that time. As an interim measure, what we have done is that we have sent samples to CARPHA,” he said adding “once those samples would have returned, we would have cleared a substantial part of our backlog,” the Minister disclosed.

Minister Anthony explained that there will be a significant increase in the total number of positive cases recorded once those samples return. As such, persons must understand that this is due to the large volume of samples sent for testing and should not be alarmed.  

“When we get back those 500 samples either this afternoon or tomorrow, you will see an increase in the cases but this is because of the number of samples that we would have tested.”

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 Machine which will cut testing time from on average of about nine hours to two hours.