PAHO says all frontline workers should be tested, donates 4,000 COVID-19 test kits

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The Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) on Friday donated 4,000 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test kits to the Ministry of Public Health to test for COVID-19 and pleaded for all frontline workers to be tested.

In an interview with the News Room, PAHO/WHO Country Representative, Dr. William Adu-Krow said the agency has so far donated at least 10,000 test kits to the National Public Health Reference Laboratory.

But he told the News Room that “through the India [Government’s] funding and other funds –USAID, DIFID –we are purchasing almost 20,000 tests so I have a feeling that by the end of next month, there will be lots of test kits in the system so anyone who needs to be tested would get tested.”

Dr Adu-Krow urged for all essential workers be tested.

One of the COVID-19 test kits

He alluded to health officials, police officers and media workers who are all listed as essential workers under the Health Ministry’s national COVID-19 guidelines.

“…all healthcare workers need to be tested because they are treating everybody so we need to know that they are safe before they can treat anybody otherwise if you don’t test healthcare workers and they are out there treating people…[they] would expose all those people.

“Police who are out there all the time need to be tested, prison wardens need to be tested…probably even the media has to be tested because they meet people all the time,” Dr Adu-Krow said.

To date, the total number of persons tested is 1, 559 with the total number of negative cases being 1,409.

Up to May 28, 150 persons were tested positive for COVID-19 in Guyana. Of that amount, there were 11 deaths, 67 recoveries and 72 active cases.

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