Mass testing reveals over 400 positive COVID-19 cases in three weeks
As a result of mass COVID-19 testing within the last few weeks, Guyana’s confirmed cases increased by over 400 and the total number of cases as of August 22, 2020 is 925.
Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony on Saturday told the Department of Public Information that these cases went undetected for months and it is expected that the numbers will rise in the coming days. Limited test kits and strict testing criteria previously prevented mass testing to be done.
“It is going to go up more because as we are increasing the number of tests.
“We are going to see more positives…in the past, testing was very restricted, there were very strict criteria to do the test and therefore you would have had to be displaying symptoms of COVID before you got a test,” Dr Anthony explained.
The Minister also noted it is likely that a large percentage of the persons are asymptomatic.
“When we looked at what is happening in other parts of the world, lots of people are asymptomatic… they are unaware because they have no signs or symptoms,” the Minister said.
With this huge demand for more testing, the Ministry is working assiduously to build its testing capacity and have more test samples processed daily.
Dr Anthony said more private facilities along with another government facility will be supporting the National Public Health Reference Laboratory in processing the high number of persons who want to be tested.
Meanwhile, test samples are being collected countrywide and according to the Health Minister, this was not done before. He highlighted that Regions Five and Six which were previously deemed COVID- free are now seeing scores of persons coming forward to be tested.
Further, the facilities established in Region Four namely at Herstelling, Paradise, Georgetown, along with the mobile units have seen as much as 400+ samples taken to be processed. (DPI)