Based on World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation for more testing of patients, Dr Guy is urging the Ministry to start testing persons who are in quarantine centres, either home or state run facilities, as opposed to only persons who are showing symptoms of infection as is being done now.
“We are now more convinced by the scientific data that the coronavirus can be spread by persons who show no symptoms and it is on this premise that we strongly recommend that the protocols are modified. We are also positing that it is only when the true extent of the spread is known that proper planning with regards to needs and requirements can done.” Dr Guy said.
Dr Guy, along with Drs Shane Alexis and Winston De La Haye, is also recommending that all persons in quarantine should be tested after five days post exposure so that the incidence of false negative may be minimized.
“It is our view that that is the best of practices now. To effect that, we are also again making the call for the sourcing of additional testing materials which would include cheaper and more accessible testing kits.” Dr Guy said.
The team of doctors also recommend that a parallel testing pilot be done with the cheaper kits against the standardized viral testing at 8the National Influenza Laboratory to determine its suitability. By doing so we could have mass testing by local health authorities supported by private labs and hence would have a more accurate idea of the magnitude of the epidemic in Jamaica.
“As we face this unparalleled world pandemic, we have to be creative and at the same time respect the established scientific reporting protocols and evolving recommendations.” Dr Guy said.
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