PAHO/WHO rep. says COVID-19 tests of high standard
The Pan-American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) is instrumental in Guyana’s fight against COVID-19 from the training of microbiologists to the donation to test kits.
The organization’s representative in Guyana Dr William Adu-Krow on Wednesday said he is confident that tests done by the National Public Health Reference Laboratory (NPHRL) are of the highest standard.
“I must say that I have full confidence in the testing that we are doing. It is not only because PAHO is the one who trained the microbiologists but also these professionals are doing the best,” Dr Adu-Krow told the News Room in an interview.
To ensure that the quality is consistent, he noted that random samples are sent to Trinidad and Puerto Rico for quality assurance.
The health expert explained that “after every 10th or 20th positive case, we take samples of the same specimen and send it outside for an outside entity to also to test it so that we have this quality assurance so when you tell someone [they] are positive, another lab also say that same thing that they are positive…every negative we also send to the lab.”
Dr Adu-Krow debunked claims that contaminated test kits which were shipped from China are being used in the local health system and is to be blamed for an increase in COVID-19 cases.
He said approximately 1,000 kits arrived from China as a donation, months ago, but those were used in June.
“We had 1,000 kits in China and those were used about two months ago so for somebody to say the numbers are increasing and therefore, these are things coming from China, that is a lie,” the WHO representative told the News Room.
Further, he said: “I don’t think any Government will allow intentionally, or intentionally tainted kits to be used on their own people.”
According to the WHO, COVID-19 virus can only live between seven to 10 days outside of the body.
Dr. Adu-Krow’s comments were made in response to claims that contaminated COVID-19 test kits were sent to Guyana from China and is responsible for the jump in positive cases.
As of August 28, Guyana recorded 1,140 positive cases.
Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony in a statement on August 21 condemned what he said were “a deliberate, irresponsible and reckless campaign” to spread fake news relating to COVID-19 testing.