Health Ministry says it has adequate testing kits for COVID-19


Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence on Wednesday said the Ministry has sufficient testing kits to diagnose cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“There is an adequate supply of testing kits,” Minister Lawrence said during a briefing.

The World Health Organisation recently donated 700 Diagnostic Screening Tests Kits and 400 Diagnostic Confirmatory Tests Kits along with surgical masks, surgical gowns, gloves, safety glasses and biosafety bags.

The National Public Health Reference Laboratory is responsible for testing suspected persons.

The Minister did the broadcast from her office and it is the first of daily bulletin promised by the Ministry. There was no system in place for the media to pose questions.

During the approximately five-minute brief, she noted that there are nine persons under mandatory quarantine and four positive cases under mandatory isolation.

The Minister promised that the persons in quarantine and isolation will be receiving psycho-social support from the Ministry’s Mental Health Unit which is working along with the Ministry of Social Protection.

Minister Lawrence disclosed that over the past two weeks, a total of 543 calls were received via the Ministry’s hotline which is located at the Health Emergency Operation Center (HEOC), Quamina Street, Georgetown.

Of that amount, 90 percent were from Region Four. The HEOC she said, has been holding briefs every 48 hours to keep everyone updated on the virus.

The mobile toll-free hotline numbers to report cases of the Coronavirus are 624-2819, 624-6674, 624-3067 and 624-9355.

According to Minister Lawrence, since the first case was diagnosed on March 11, the Ministry has been working with several agencies, namely World Health Organisation, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is supporting countries to diagnose cases of the COVID-19, the diaspora and the Rotary Club.

The Minister said regional preparedness is ongoing along with public education while there has been risk communication and community engagements with persons who can be at a risk.

Lawrence said a rapid response team is also in place.


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