Health Ministry working to ramp up testing capacity to over 1000 per day

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Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony, on Tuesday, said that his Ministry is working to boost the nation’s testing capacity for Covid-19 as efforts to bring the virus under control intensify.

“We have the capacity now to do between 450 to 600 tests per day, and we are working to take that up to maybe about a 1000 to 1200 tests per day; so that work continues.

“So capacity at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory has increased,” the Minister related during a daily update on the country’s progress in tackling the virus.

According to Dr Anthony, in terms of getting samples; this has to do with the Regions themselves going out and proactively testing people once they meet the criteria or they feel they were exposed to the virus.

He added that once the samples come into the lab, processing would be done easily, “but it comes back to individual regions being more proactive in how they reach out to people and be aggressive in terms of getting people tested”.

Dr Anthony related that his Ministry has looked at the possibility of ordering more testing kits that the WHO has certified and will move in this direction soon so as to increase the numbers of persons being tested daily.

As of October 26, a total of 18,489 persons have been tested for Covid-19, with 4026 being tested positive.

The total number of deaths from the pandemic is 121. The latest fatality is that of an 81-year-old female from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) who died while receiving care at a medical facility.