‘Technical difficulties’ delay COVID-19 test results for Santa Rosa


The delay in the delivery of COVID-19 test results to residents of Santa Rosa, Moruca, Region One is as a result of “technical difficulties” according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Gordon-Boyle.

However, she said the issues have since been resolved and persons should be receiving feedback in a shorter time.

“I know that there was a delay with testing because there were some technical difficulties last week but I think everything is back on stream now,” Dr Gordon-Boyle told the News Room via telephone on Thursday.

She did not expound on the ‘technical difficulties’ faced by the Ministry but at the weekend, the National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL) which is the only facility offering free testing for COVID-19, was closed for two days to facilitate electrical works.

Several persons took to Facebook over the past few days to complain about the time taken to receive their COVID-19 test results in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is the new COVID-19 hotspot in the country.

One of the widely shared posts was made by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett who said, “This is very concerning and adds to the anxiety.”

Seventy-six persons have so far tested positive for COVID-19 in Region One with approximately 72 of those persons residing in Santa Rosa.

One woman also complained that she was never tested but received calls from Public Health Officials who asked for another person.

This, Dr Gordon-Boyle, said can be as a result of patients providing inaccurate telephone numbers to the Ministry of Public Health.

“It is quite possible if people give false numbers, which we do have cases of –when you supposed to give the numbers to follow up and we call the numbers, its wrong numbers… That’s happening a lot and it’s not our fault, it is dishonesty on the part of the Guyanese people,” she told the News Room.

Some persons have also claimed that their samples were misplaced while being transported to Georgetown but the Deputy Chief Medical Officer said she is unaware of any such incidents.

The community of Santa Rosa will be proceeding on two weeks total lockdown from Saturday in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. The largest populated indigenous village has become the hotspot for the disease since its first case on May 25 as a result of community transmission.

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