Ministry of Health proposes to use rapid test kits to test 10 per cent of the population – PM
The Ministry of Health has proposed that 11,000 Vincentians be tested for exposure to the Covid-19 virus and already, residents of elderly care facilities and their caregivers are being tested.
This was disclosed by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves as he spoke on the ‘Shake Up’ program on Tuesday.
Gonsalves said St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is taking a scientific approach in the COVID-19 fight and even though the supply chain for testing material is problematic, rapid testing is ongoing.
The Prime Minister said samples are being taken from the general population, for example, residents and caregivers in elderly care facilities, frontline and healthcare workers.
He said the ministry of health has proposed a campaign called ‘Live well with it’, and one objective of this campaign is to use rapid test kits to test 10 per cent of the population (11,000 people) to see if they have antibodies.
Gonsalves said a one per cent sample of the 11,000 tests would then be subjected to PCR testing to determine the extent of the accuracy of the rapid tests.
The Prime Minister said to date, SVG has been able to acquire 3000 rapid test kits, with another 5000 expected from another source, but delivery has been delayed.
Vincentians who are part of large workforces like the police force, immigration and customs departments, the Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC), the St Vincent Brewery Limited, the St Vincent Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) and the Central Water and Sewage Authority (CWSA) will also have rapid testing in the future.
“As I said before, as you test more and more, you don’t be worried when you see there is another case.
“It depends on all the circumstances that you are having,” said Gonsalves who noted that all 15 reported cases in SVG were mild with nobody dying or having been hospitalized.
A 16th Covid-19 positive case, which has been determined to be part of a import related local cluster was reported on Tuesday evening.