The number of COVID-19 tests has increased by 500% since the Irfaan Ali administration got into office a month ago. While this bodes well for the people of Guyana, it also allows leeway for a “narrative to be created”, that is: more COVID-19 cases since the regime rose to power.
But Ali contends that the small number of tests that were being done prior to August, did not reflect the accurate situation on the ground. Now that more tests are being done, there will obviously be as spike in confirmed cases, he said.
“I remember from two days before I was sworn in, the numbers climbed. We’re testing almost 500% more than we were testing before. We have hundreds of people who are turning up to be tested now, who never took the opportunity to be tested. We were tested between 40 to 60 [persons] per day, [now] we’re testing somedays 250…So, if we’re doing more tests, if we’re more aggressive in reaching out to the people in doing the testing, then you expect that’ll be a correlation,” he said.
In tackling this ‘correlation’, the Head of State said that many issues are being addressed, such as providing care to the infected and the implementation and managing of facilities and infrastructure.
In the short time that the party has been in government, Dr Ali said that 29 new ventilators are already in the country with 16 more on the way. He said, too, that 16,000 new test kits are en route.
Additionally, he said that the government is addressing the social and economic challenges that stem from COVID-19. He spoke about the reprogramming of $60M to address COVID-19 directly, and the government investing in a new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine that will conduct 900 tests per day. Further, 30 new techinicians have been trained to work in the lab.