A recent recording has alleged that there maybe some malpractice taking place as it relates to recent COVID-19 tests done on several persons. The recording has been shared thousands of times on social media and also via messaging apps; creating some sense of public panic and distrust in the local health care system.
The Guyana Ledger for the past week sought to further ascertain whether these allegations were true. This online news was able to confirm that since the current administration took office, about three weeks ago, 2011 persons were tested.
To date, according to the Ministry of Health, more than 1000 persons have tested positive for COVID-19. So far, they have been 31 confirmed deaths with 10 deaths being recorded within the last three weeks.
But with the rise of positive cases, most of them being asymptomatic, are the tests currently being conducted accurate? A reliable source within the Ministry of Health confirmed to The Guyana Ledger that there is a backlog of tests; which is currently delaying the delivery of results to persons who were tested.
In addition, this news entity through another source, confirmed that the current PCR Test Machine has been under pressure, since it’s the only machine in Guyana. But while a machine under immense pressure could be one likely issue, rapid testing kits, which made its way to Guyana, could be another factor.
The previous administration, through the Government Analyst Food and Drugs Department, had banned the importation of rapid testing kits, citing that in 10 countries, the kits were found to be providing inaccurate results. Rapid testing kits can provide results between four to nine hours. PCR tests on the other hand takes longer.
A usually reliable when asked about how the previously banned kits made its way to Guyana, explained that when the current administration took office, it lifted the ban; allowing private and public institutions to access and source these same kits.
There are two different types of testing taking place. The questions remain, why did the government lift the ban on rapid testing kits, why is there one PCR machine conducting scores of tests daily and were there in fact misdiagnosis taking place. Calls to Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony went answered.
In a recent interview with Stabroek News, Dr. Anthony explained that are different types of PCR machines that would speed up the testing time adding that the health ministry is currently in the process of procuring more automatic PCR machines. The machines can conduct 96 tests within an hour.