Wed | May 27, 2020

COVID-19 mobile testing units to roll out today

Published:Friday | April 3, 2020 | 12:28 AM
Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton.
Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton.

THE COUNTRY’S mobile testing mechanism will start rolling out today as the Ministry of Health and Wellness ramps up testing for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Portfolio Minister Dr Christopher Tufton made the announcement during a digital press conference on Wednesday.

“The ministry will be, essentially, engaging mobile units, which will be rebranded to indicate their purpose. Those units will be deployed in parishes across the country, and we’re going to begin in the South East Regional Health Authority and the North East Regional Health Authority,” he said.

Tufton noted that a protocol is in place to facilitate testing.

“Persons who have a desire to be tested will be subjected to that protocol in terms of an assessment done, or triage, as would be done in our accident and emergency context. If they meet the specific requirements or criteria, then the samples would be collected by those units and [the] test administered, and they will be contacted and given appropriate guidance and counselling,” he outlined.

Tufton emphasised that “the fact that you want to be tested doesn’t mean that you will be tested. It’s a function of the clinical assessment that will be done and the counselling that will be done”.

“But we will have more opportunity, because we will have more testing sites or sampling sites across the country with these mobile units, and we believe it will increase, a fair bit, the number of samples that will be collected and, therefore, tests that are done,” he said.