New Virology Lab opens; offers COVID-19 tests with fast results

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Mr Andrew Boyle and Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony

Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony on Wednesday, officially declared open the country’s newest state-of-the-art medical facility – the ‘Dr. Collin Boyle Virology Lab’ at the Eureka Medical Laboratory (EML) located at Thomas Street, Georgetown.

The facility, which is the first of its kind in Guyana, offers daily in-house PCR COVID-19 testing, with results in 48 hours, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Boyle, after whom the facility is named, is the late brother of EML’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Andrew Boyle.

Minister Anthony welcomed the move by EML, which he said will serve to support Government’s efforts aimed at enhancing health services in Guyana, noting that public/private sector partnerships, such as these, go a long way.

Dr. Anthony said the Ministry of Health remains committed to working with private sector entities such as Eureka Medical Laboratory to meet the medical needs of all, as Government seeks to slow the spread and flatten the curve during this global pandemic.

The Minister was given a thorough tour of the new facility and was briefed on procedures of the tests and other services that will be carried out.

In response, Mr. Boyle said EML has taken note of Government’s intensified work to improve COVID-19 testing efficiency and thought about how his laboratory can further help. “Our desire to support these efforts led the establishment of the Dr. Collin Boyle Virology Lab and investment in advanced technology to increase our capacity at EML,” he said.

Two new machines were purchased by EML – the QuantStudio 5 and the Kingfisher Flex – which allow for testing and analyzing of up to 1,000 samples per day with a guaranteed turnaround time of 48 hours for results.

“We are confident that we have covered all bases in preparation of the analysis and interpretation of results. Staff have undergone a 10-day theoretical training on PCR testing, as well as practical training via our overseas partners and a local expert in PCR training. Our team has also been trained in COVID-19 nasopharyngeal sample collection,” added Mr. Boyle.

The daily in-house PCR COVID-19 testing service will be launched at EML’s Thomas Street, Georgetown branch on September 24, with plans in place to expand and offer similar services at other branches in the future.

Other services to be launched on September 24 include house-call services in Georgetown and other parts of the coastal areas, as well as house-call services for places of employment and homes.

To utilize EML’s house-call services, persons may call their toll-free telephone numbers — 640-8378, 624-8378 or 608-8378 — and provide relevant information including address, contact number and medical history, along with the services required.