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Saint Lucia Will Soon be able to Facilitate COVID-19 Testing and Diagnosis on Island

Report by Fernelle Neptune

The nation’s ability to diagnose COVID-19 cases will be enhanced as the Ezra Long Laboratory of the Victoria hospital and OKEU hospital recently received the equipment for testing of COVID-19.

Director of the Ezra Long Laboratory Dr. Wayne Feliciensays he is very pleased with the equipment for testing of COVID-19 and highlighted the benefits of this equipment for Saint Lucians.

“We purchased the Q32 as a form of increasing our diagnostic capacity for COVID-19. What we realize is that from the time of collecting the sample to the time of getting the results is between 24 to 48 hours since we have been using CARPHA in Trinidad to give us our diagnosis. What we have actually done is purchase this equipment to reduce our turnaround time to a 3 to 4 hour period which would improve our ability to treat and see through which patients are positive for COVID-19.”

Dr. Felicien also spoke on the efforts of the Department of Health to ensure that the capability to conduct testing and diagnosis of COVID-19 is available at the soonest.

“We forecast to having testing capabilities within the next two weeks. We are actually in dialogue with our suppliers, Caribbean Diagnostics who are now going to send someone on island to conduct training, installation and validation which will last a period of five (5) to seven (7) days and by then we should be able to have the capabilities.”

Testing for COVID-19 is expected to be available during the week of March 23rd.

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