(By Ernesto Cooke) – As of January 13th, 2021 St Vincent and the Grenadines have carried out 24,000 PCR test.
Elliot Samuel Chief Laboratory Technician on the island said this is the total number of test done since the molecular lab was set up at its new location.
In terms of samples tested per day, the lab started with 300 that number has now moved upwards to 500.
These tests include persons who are doing exit screens, entry screens, suspect cases and contact tracing.
Delay In Results For PCR Test.
Samuel stated on the turnaround time for results or giving persons their results in the 24hr period; the delay is due to the number of samples for testing.
He said the number of samples is far exceeding the lab’s capacity; however, as of today 13th January, the staff have caught up with the backlog and are closer to processing all of the current samples.
On Monday there were 921 samples awaiting analysis; however, as of January 12th, that number was down to 394.
The Chief Laboratory Technician said they expect at the end of Wednesday 13th; all 394 samples should be cleared, allowing laboratory staff to focus on those coming in daily.
Can The Lab keep Up With The Surge In Cases?
With the Surge in COVID -19 cases on the island, Chief Technician Elliot Samuel says in 2020 they would have procured reagents and supplies to carry out 35,000 PCR determinations.
Since then Samuel says new reagents and supplies have been ordered to allow the lab to do a further 25,000 test, those supplies he said is currently en-route to St Vincent.
“I know many countries are experiencing problems in terms of acquiring supplies for testing. We do have our challenges, but the important supplies are on hand, and we have been lucky enough to have suppliers who can meet our demand”, Samuel said.
A batch of critical supplies are expected on the island next week, so I can safely say we have not gotten to the point where we are short on supplies, the Chief Technician stated.
Globally, as of 6:51 pm CET, 13 January 2021, there have been 90,335,008 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,954,336 deaths, reported to WHO.