COVID-19: Additional testing kits yet to arrive in Guyana – Deputy Chief Medical Officer

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Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Boyle

The additional testing kits that are necessary to ascertain cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) are yet to arrive in Guyana. This is according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) Dr Karen Boyle who when asked for an update on the status of the testing kits said that Government is optimistic that these important kits will be in the country in the near future. The kits were supposed to have arrived last week.

However, the Ministry has since received a donation 700 Diagnostic Screening Tests Kits and 400 Diagnostic Confirmatory Tests Kits along with surgical masks, surgical gowns, gloves, safety glasses and biosafety bags from the Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO).

While Guyana has had five confirmed cases of the coronavirus, it had previously been reported that the authorities were monitoring a number of persons for signs of the disease after they would have arrived from high-risk countries. One person has since died and four of her family members have been quarantined.

When asked by INews, however, Dr Boyle could not say how many people the Public Health Ministry currently have under surveillance but rather said that the number of people under surveillance is “constantly updated.”

Boyle was previously quoted in sections of the press announcing that the country only had 20 available testing kits. It had also been reported a few weeks ago that more testing kits were on the way to boost the Government’s capacity to fight the virus.

All testing for COVID-19 is done at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory in the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) compound.

The World Health Organization said only two days ago that testing people with symptoms of the coronavirus lies at the heart of fighting the pandemic.