COVID-19 samples from Region 9 for testing in Brazil

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Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony on Wednesday announced that the Government is examining sending COVID-19 samples from Region 9 to Brazil for testing.

“We have been exploring with the Government of Brazil, and in particular the State of Roraima to be able to send our samples from Region 9, across to Brazil for them to process them for us,” the Health Minister said.

Dr. Anthony explained that the government hopes to finalise these arrangements in a meeting with the Brazilian authorities that is set for Friday.

The move is towards clearing 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.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Trinidad and Tobago, is already assisting in this regard.

The Minister said that out of the 500 samples that were sent to CARPHA over 400 have returned, an additional 138 samples were sent last Monday.

Since taking office the government has explored and executed several measures to facilitate testing of the increased number of samples.

The Minister highlighted that any health facilities can be a site to collect samples for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

He said that the regional and district hospitals across the country are able to offer this test, as test kits have been made available to the facilities.

In addition, to regional and district hospitals, the Minister said that they have identified other sites for COVID-19 sample collection (testing) in Region 4. These sites, the Health Minister added are at Paradise on the East Coast of Demerara, Herstelling on the East Bank of Demerara and the Georgetown Public Hospital.