Fri | Dec 4, 2020

COVID backlog was 600 cases

Published:Tuesday | April 28, 2020 | 12:08 AM

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has revealed that a backlog of 600 samples for COVID-19 testing is expected to be cleared within a day.

Tufton, who addressed the issue amid complaints over waits of up to two weeks for results, said the commissioning of a COBAS 6800 machine had boosted capacity.

“Yes, we did have a backlog which we have spoken about. ... Since last week, however, when we installed the new system at the public health lab, we have been clearing up the backlog very nicely,” Tufton said yesterday.

One of the issues raised in the recent death of a mother – suspected to be COVID-19 positive – who had been seeking to be placed at the Kingston Public Hospital was that patients in a designated facility had been waiting for their test result for more than 10 days.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jamaica have moved up to 364.

Tufton indicated that the figures for Sunday had been revised downward after two samples were repeat tests for patients who were already confirmed positive and awaiting discharge.

Sixteen new cases were added to the tally yesterday.

One hundred and forty-three, or 39 per cent, of the total confirmed cases are male, while 221 (61 per cent) are female, with ages ranging from two months to 87 years.

Of the 16 new cases, seven are male and nine are female, aged three years to 77.