The Ministry of Health is boosting regional COVID-19 testing capacity with the installation of GeneXpert machines at hospitals across the country. The first machine will be set up at the Lethem Regional Hospital, Region Nine. This was according to the Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony yesterday during his daily update.

This testing mechanism with enable results to be produced within an hour.

“They don’t have to send samples to Georgetown. They can do it right there and they will be able to get back results within an hour using that particular machine,” the Minister said. He added that this form of testing is similar to the polymerase chain reaction test (PCR) and more sensitive than the antigen tests being conducted.

Minister Anthony disclosed that there are “some other machines which will be deployed to the other regions as well.”

GeneXpert machines will be deployed to the Mabaruma Regional Hospital, Barima-Waini (Region One), the Linden Hospital Complex in the Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten) and the New Amsterdam Hospital in the East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six).

The GeneXpert machines together with the PCR and antigen tests are the three available options when testing for COVID-19. While the PCR test remains the gold standard for testing for COVID-19, only the National Public Health Reference Laboratory and Eureka Medical Laboratory are authorised to conduct PCR tests.


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