Sunday, April 21, 2024

Faster Covid-19 test results soon, says Cummins

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Those complaints from visitors having to wait inordinate lengths of time to get COVID-19 results should start to ease soon, with more resources being made available to the Best Dos Santos Laboratory, Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins promised yesterday.

During a press conference held on Zoom from Ilaro Court, Cummins said public health authorities and Government were working hand in hand to make sure test results were expedited.

The minister said they were aware of the pressure the increased volume of test requests from visitors in particular wanting to return to their homes, had been placed on the system.

“We know there have been challenges with persons getting their test results on time and that is regrettable, but we have been focusing since Tuesday on dedicating resources at the Best Dos Santos Laboratory to allow for persons to travel seamlessly. We are working through those issues,” Cummins said.

The minister said more than 230 people had been able to present to Best Dos Santos for PCR and antigen testing since Tuesday. Of that number, 145 were from overseas, including visiting Barbadians and returning nationals. In addition to that, she said 89 locals were able to get their results and have an antigen test provided if they were quarantining in approved hotels.

Additional arrangements she said were being put in place to facilitate further testing for the remainder of the week, with another facility to be stood up until the numbers were significantly reduced.

She thanked workers who work long shifts in an effort to reduce the backlog.

“We want to thank all the health officials for working seamlessly with the tourism industry over the last week. Since last Sunday we stood up a call centre and we have received hundreds of calls and we are working to ensure that our visitors and travellers are able to benefit from test results,” she added. (BA)

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