COVID-19 tests done in Guyana are secure & safe – PAHO

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The Pan American Health Organisation World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) Representative to Guyana, Dr. William Adu-Krow, has dispelled the rumours of contaminated test kits being used in Guyana to test for COVID-19.

Dr. William Adu-Krow said his organisation ensures that test kits meet all the necessary standards before being dispatched to countries for use.

“I can assure the public that the tests being done in Guyana are secure, safe and quality assured so if you get a positive, it’s a true positive… All the testing kits that we have to go through a quality assurance first then go through PAHO and then it comes here monitored, temperature-sensitive monitored, so by the time we get them we know they are in good stead,” he explained.

This supports earlier statements made by Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony which debunk claims of contaminated test kits being used.

“To the best of my knowledge, the kits that were graciously given by the Government of China came to us about 6-8 weeks ago. Those were used and we did not have any problems. Now, there is someone suddenly saying we are getting increases because of that, that is a lie,” Dr. Adu-Krow added.

Dr William Adu-Krow

To ensure the accuracy of test results, PAHO/WHO has advised the government that after every 50 tests, the 50th sample should be sent to a laboratory outside of Guyana to be re-processed. This is to verify the initial result produced locally and ensure there is a match.

Meanwhile, Dr. Adu-Krow addressed the notion some persons may have that being re-tested at private health institutions will produce a different result.

He said the testing provided by the government is a PCR test; which is a molecular test with about 99 percent accurate. “If you go and test at a private institution, with an antibody-antigen test they may use, it is not as sensitive as a PCR test and that is why the government is sticking to PCR. That is also why WHO has not pre-approved any of the antibody-antigen tests as yet,” he explained.

The Health Minister has repeatedly urged persons to go out and get tested and not let the rumours circulating be a deterrent. Since widespread testing has been increased, the number of positive cases being identified is a true reflection of the COVID-19 situation in the country.