The Ministry of Health has begun random testing countrywide. This new strategy began this week where health officials are now going to random populated areas including banks and supermarkets to offer Covid-19 testing for residents. Love News spoke with the Acting Director of Health Services, Dr Melissa Diaz-Musa who explained the process.
Dr.Melissa Musa, Acting Director of Health Services: “I feel that we need to expand these services even more and instead of just doing the mobile testing our team at the Ministry of Health and Wellness we have decided that this week and the following we week we will roll out into an expanded active surveillance testing so it means we will start to visit high risk areas, areas that we feel that there is a big crowd for instance the government offices, the banks, the super markets and actually asking persons to get tested in these areas and hopefully it will give us a good idea of really what is happening in our communities to know that are these just asymptomatic carriers, are there people with just very mild symptoms being out and about and it will help us to control the spread further because we will expand our testing to other areas as well. So the mobile clinics help because we go into areas where it’s not as accessible to get to a health facility but now we have to move into rural and urban but to more high risk groups and actually invite persons to come to get the testing in these facilities to ensure they are negative or if they’re positive that we isolate very quickly.”
Reporter: Do we have the inventory to engage in such an initiative in terms of testing kits?
Dr.Melissa Musa, Acting Director of Health Services: “Yes, yes absolutely. We surely do, we have in excess of 80,000 rapid tests at this point and we also have a large number of PCR tests as well so we do have enough for us to go out really screen our population, do the active surveillance, search for persons who are ill, get them tested, isolated and early management those are the key things so early detection, early isolation, and early management will help us in this fight.”
According to Dr Diaz the mobile testing initiative had begun with a high number of residents getting tested. She noted, however that the numbers have since dwindled.
Dr.Melissa Musa, Acting Director of Health Services: “Initially when the mobile testing was rolled out we had a very good response and in some areas we had a hundred, a hundred and fifty persons showing up to get tested. Over the last week or two we have noticed that this number has reduced significantly and for many reasons we can speculate on some and some of the reasons persons are not feeling as unwell, we’re getting control of the virus as we see with our numbers so far so not as many people will have to present to facilities.”