Guyana’s COVID-19 testing capability has seen a significant boost, says Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony. During today’s COVID-19 update, the health official said that the country now has the capability of conducting between 1500 and 2000 per day. He was quick to point out that when Guyana entered into the pandemic eleven months ago, less than 100 tests were being done daily.
He added that the government has since bought “literally thousands” of antigen test kits and made them available to the Regional Health Officers in the various regions. He noted that persons are also being trained to conduct these tests in communities.
The Minister further noted that the government has also given the greenlight to six private labs to conduct this type of examination in a bid to increase testing across the country.
“The Ministry has been inspecting and working with a number of other laboratories, who have expressed an interest in doing antigen testing, and once we are satisfied, we are going to issue an updated list of those who can provide the antigen testing…So, this is ongoing work,” he noted.
Molecular test, also known as Ribonucleic acid (RNA) or Polymerase chain reaction (PCR is considered the most sensitive for detecting an active infection, and the results are highly accurate. In most cases, a health care provider will collect mucus from your nose or throat using a specialized swab.
Antigen test is often called a “rapid test” because the turnaround time is much quicker than an RNA test. It’s also cheaper to produce. As a result, antigen tests are being used to screen large numbers of people, like at airports, a recent article in the journal “Nature” points out.
Guyana would have conducted over 54,475 tests since March, 2020, the dashboard of February 7, 2020 noted.