This country is now more equipped to process Covid-19 tests here, through the procurement of an automatic extractor – a piece of equipment that is geared at increasing the speed of testing results.
This was disclosed by Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Hon. St. Clair Prince on Tuesday January 26th, 2021 at a virtual press conference held by Health officials here to update the nation on matters relating to Covid-19.
Prince said, this will significantly improve the testing capacity, and added that “a team of biomedical engineers, I.T professionals and laboratory technologists here are remotely engaged with a specialist team to undergo the requisite training and subsequent installation of this instrument, given the current travel restrictions due to Covid-19”. The instrument is expected to become operational by the end of this week.
According to the Health Minister, four technologists from Cuba will join the technologist team here at the Molecular Laboratory Unit (MLU) in an effort to bolster capacity at the laboratory.
“Early detection is key”, the Health Minister emphasized and revealed that so far over 30,000 PCR samples have been processed. Additionally, Minister Prince indicated that they have “moved from home quarantine to partial tourism approved hotels and home quarantine to full tourism approved hotels for quarantine”.
The Health Minister said that government decided to increase the isolation centers, since it was deemed necessary due to a number of person’s inability to home quarantine and isolate effectively while recovering from Covid-19. He said there are now 25 additional self-contained rooms that will serve as isolation facilities.
Meantime, Minister Prince has highlighted that two local private laboratories Sigma and CRL have indicated their willingness to perform rapid antigen test for exit screening, catering to persons travelling to the USA. So far, there is one private lab with the approved capacity to do PCR tests for clearance exit screening.
Minister Prince urged persons to continue to wear masks and stressed that “everyone must be advocates of the protocols”. He further added that “everyone has to be on board in order to fight this pandemic”.