There is a backlog of samples from persons testing for COVID-19 to be processed at the molecular lab unit in Kingstown.
As of Tuesday 12 October, some 2000 samples were still waiting to be processed.
According to the islands Chief Medical Officer, Dr Simone Keizer Beache, the backlog is attributed to overworked staff and a shortage of test kits for the automatic extractor equipment.
As of Tuesday, 12 October 2021, the molecular lab has temporarily stopped processing PCR samples for travellers; the processing of public samples is being prioritised according to health officials at this time to help reduce the backlog.
The Chief Medical Officer stated that they were able to get some kits, and the work continues to process the samples in the fastest possible time.
“The outbreak in Covid- 19 cases in the country has overwhelmed the health system, we are doing everything in our capacity to clear up the backlog. We are asking the public to be understanding”.
Chief lab technologist Elliot Samuel said selected exit screening will still be done at the molecular lab.
Payments made for PCR tests before Tuesday 12 October will be processed through the government lab.
Testing for travel purposes will now be done through private labs.