Antigua and Barbuda will no longer have to rely solely on the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to test persons who are suspected to have the virus since the Covid-19 testing equipment are now here on island
According to Friday’s Cabinet notes, Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph — in a virtual Cabinet meeting — provided an update on the situation as pertains to the status of the Covid-19 impact on Antigua and Barbuda, the readiness and the planned reaction as the data are examined.
It was disclosed that the “Covid-19 tests that have been undertaken by CARPHA in Trinidad will be replaced by local testing since the reagents have landed, the laboratory has been certified, and the technicians have been and are being trained.”
Joseph noted that CARPHA treats tests that prove negative—especially when the negative number exceeds tests that prove positive—as a signal of inefficient use of its resources.
And in the last batch sent to CARPHA from Antigua, more than 50 percent of the samples proved negative, he pointed out.
The notes from the Cabinet stated that “although 1,500 testing kits have been provided by the People’s Republic of China, and 500 of a donation of 1,000 have also arrived, others will arrive on Wednesday. Still, the Cabinet says that there will be judicious use of the resources since no one knows how long this crisis will persist.”
Meanwhile, aprons and gloves for both surgical and isolation use are said to be in good supply and masks PPEs and shoe covers are also in sufficient supply.
The Cabinet also stated that, “there are 70 rooms at MSJMC for Covid patients should the need arise; 17 isolation rooms at Margetson Ward at the old Holberton, 72 rooms at the old air Force Base, and 75 beds for quarantine at the NTTC.”
At present, the twin island has 15 confirmed cases of the pandemic of 40 persons which have been tested. That means that 25 of the tests returned negative results.
However, 225 persons are in self-quarantine while 87 are in quarantine facilities.