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…Govt says increased testing reason for dramatic rise
Since assuming office there has been a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases here, but the new PPP/C Administration said this is so due to the increased testing taking place.
Some 25 persons are now dead and Guyana has recorded thus far 737 cases of the virus.
Since August 3, 2020 263 new COVID-19 cases have been identified, from all across the country.
In a Department of Public Information release Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony said following a rapid assessment conducted after the first few days in office, it was discovered that positive cases were understated under the previous APNU+AFC Administration, as testing was not conducted on a wide scale.
Minister Anthony noted the claims that Regions Five and Six were COVID-free; this was false as no testing was being done in these areas.
After both President Irfaan Ali and Anthony publicly declared that mass testing will begin, support has been pouring in from several donor agencies. Moreover, several thousand test kits have been acquired.
Anthony, in an interview last week, revealed that the PPP/C Government has “started to do more testing. We have streamlined the laboratory to ensure that we can do more testing, and we have placed more testing kits in the various Regions.”
With the increased testing, the need for more staff to work and support this new mode of operation became evident. In this regard, the Health Ministry has been extensively planning ways in which teams can be made available to facilitate the ramped-up testing exercise. There are plans on stream for the laboratories to work on a 24-hour basis. This will allow for a faster turn around time of samples being processed. Also, laboratories in regional hospitals will be able to process tests for their respective regions, while private laboratories in the city will lend support in processing samples.
Today, a two-day training session commenced for medical laboratory technologists, facilitated by the Minister and PAHO/WHO. In his opening remarks at the training, Minister Anthony noted that the exercise will qualify more persons to ensure there is a faster turnaround time for results.