Health Ministry to further expand COVID-19 testing

May 07, 2020

The Ministry of Health & Wellness says it will now be expanding its testing options to include all admissions to hospitals, and the creation of an appointment system for all eligible persons, who wish to be tested.

The announcement was made by Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, who noted that this will be facilitated and managed through the website – the Government’s easy to use, centralised source for COVID-19 information and services.

“Sometime next week we should be in a position to receive those expressions of interest on the…website. There is a section there where you can log your interest and then there will be follow-up that will take place,” Dr. Tufton explained during a digital press conference on Wednesday.

He noted that the expanded testing of persons admitted in the public health system will be done in collaboration with the regional health authorities.

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry, Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie, explained that persons will be screened through the jamcovid website to determine their eligibility for testing.

She noted that the testing option will mainly cater to persons, who may be ill, but have stopped visiting public health facilities as they have been staying home in adherence to the Government’s measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“Essentially, we want all the people, who need to be tested to be tested. So this is one opportunity for persons, who are home and not coming out to their health centres to be tested,” she said.

Dr. Bisasor-McKenzie informed that the Ministry has also been collaborating with several general practitioners, who have been referring patients to the health authorities to have tests done.

The CMO said the Ministry will also be targeting at risk groups such as transportation and security personnel as part of its expanded testing protocol.
“We are going to be guided by what is happening in our parishes and we are going to be taking on some of those groups to do routine testing to see…the level of disease in these cohorts,” she said.

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