With a backlog of 700 COVID – 19 tests pending and lengthy turnaround time for testing, the Irfaan Ali Government is looking to put new measures in place to tackle the lapses in the health care system.
During a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, President Irfaan Ali said he has asked Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony to implement several interventions to improve testing capabilities while also improving infrastructure and human resources.
Dr Ali said since his Government took office just over two weeks ago they have managed to move from less than 10,000 KN-95 masks in the system to 65,000 masks now available with an additional 25,000 ordered.
The President said even as they look to tackle the 700 backlogs, testing has improved from 96 to 140 per day as he lamented the current use of manual PCR machines and the lack of medical technologists.
By next week, 30 new medical technologists will be trained to assist the current lone medical technologist working. Two new automatic machines will also be sourced to help reduce the turnaround time for testing from nine hours to two hours.
“This will not only clear the backlog but it will improve the capacity to do mass testing,” the President said.
He said there are currently four working ventilators at the Georgetown Public Hospital but the Government intends to have 29 in the country before the end of August.
More importantly, the Irfaan Ali Government said it intends to convert the newly constructed Infectious Diseases Hospital into an isolation facility for COVID-19 patients.
Arrangements will be made to have 150 patients requiring isolation placed at the Lilliendaal facility.