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… do not have to await for results at airport
… Eureka Lab boasts capacity to meet testing demand
Passengers entering Guyana with PCRR tests older than 72 hours will have to pay US$80 or approximately GYD$16,000 for fresh tests being facilitated by the Eureka Medical Laboratory in agreement with operating airlines. These passengers will not be obligated to await their tests at the airport but will be allowed to go to their planned place of stay while the results would be later communicated to them.
In an interview with the Village Voice on Tuesday, Proprietor of the well-known lab., Microbiologist Andrew Boyle said that should a passenger need to pay for a test, this cost will be included in their airline ticket and the airline will in turn pay the Lab for its service. There is no variance between what passengers would pay at the
Cheddi Jagan International Airport or the Eugene F. Correia International Airport.
Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) have been sent to and received by Eastern Airlines, Caribbean Airlines and Copa Airlines and signature in pending. However, an agreement has been met nonetheless, which will facilitate, if necessary, any passengers coming in on the first scheduled international commercial flight to the country — since the reopening of the airports — set for today [October 13, 2020].
Questioned about the capacity that the Lab has to facilitate the tests for incoming flights from the aforementioned airlines and others likely to come on board, Boyle was confident that the Lab could meet possible demands.
“On each run, we have the capacity of almost 500. If we have samples coming in now, we can do 500 samples at a time for about a four-hour period. We’ve ramped up our testing capacity and right now we have a capacity to do 4,000 tests in-house. If we were to get a proper contract and arrangement, then we would have more than 20,000 available,” he said.
The Eureka Medical Laboratory has also brought on additional staff to meet the testing needs at the airport so that at one flight, over 15 persons will be available to conduct PCR tests so that passengers would not have to wait lengthy periods for service. Passengers in need of PCR tests will not have to await their results at the airport.
Port Health will collect the contact information of individuals and will verify phone numbers by calling prior to the passenger leaving the airport and penalties have been noted for those who do not comply with all COVID-19 health and safety-related requirements, such as failing to provide the correct phone number.
“They’re allowed to self-quarantine at home, which is a good move because it prevents that bottleneck. You know you’ve travelled for 10 hours and then you have to wait another six, that is not every practicable,”Boyle said.
It should be noted however, that the Lab has not yet received an official contract from the requisite agency or Government Ministry in relation to the service it was asked to provide. There is still some amount of uncertainty about which agency or Ministry is responsible for facilitating such.
Even so, Boyle stated: “We are happy to provide this service just like how we’re happy to provide other services at Eureka Lab…it has nothing to do with whether people are sick or not. We’re happy to contribute to the health welfare of our nation.”
Guyana officially reopened its airports to international commercial travel on October 12, 2020 with strict COVID-19 guidelines in place. Several other airlines — in the region and further abroad — have signaled their interest in operations to Guyana.