(Department of Public Information) – Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony says the rapid antigen tests ordered for selective hinterland regions will increase the testing capacity in those areas.
During COVID-19 update with DPI, today, Dr. Anthony explained that although the testing capacity at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory in Region Four increased with Government’s acquisition of a $7.2 million automated extractor, regional testing in remote areas still takes time.
However, the Ministry is taking steps to remedy this.
“We have placed an order for 20,000 [antigen] tests and hopefully by November, we will be able to get those tests and deploy to interior areas.”
Minister Anthony said because this test is faster, it may be more practical for use in remote hinterland areas.
“This is not the PCR tests that we take samples of and bring them to the lab. This antigen test is one where right at the site where you’re seeing the patient if you suspect them to have COVID, you can run the test there and within four to five minutes get back the results.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has applauded the efforts of test developers who have developed the rapid and easy-to-use devices to facilitate testing outside of laboratory settings. The WHO has described the development as innovate, as it responds to the needs of people.