500 COVID-19 samples to be tested by CARPHA to clear backlog

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Guyana will be sending 500 COVID-19 samples to be tested by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago in an effort to clear the huge backlog here.

The results from these 500 samples should be available within 48 hours, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony told the Department of Public Information.

“We will be sending out those 500 samples for them to check so this will help us with the backlog but again our challenge has been that a lot more people are coming forward to be tested and as more people are coming forward as fast as we clear the samples that we have in the lab we are bringing in new samples so unless we add more capacity in terms of more machines it is going to be a challenge,” the Health Minister was quoted by DPI as saying.

There are over 1,500 samples to be tested at Guyana’s National Public Health Reference Laboratory which is severely understaffed but with the training of more personnel, the Health Ministry is looking to boost the capacity here.

Additionally, 24-hour shifts have been implemented at the lab to have more samples processed along with the procurement of an automated Polymerase Chain Reaction Machine which will cut down the testing time from an average of about nine hours to two hours.

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