(SNO) – Saint Lucia will soon have the capacity to test for the feared novel coronavirus within a turnaround time of three to four hours.
This is according to Director of the Ezra Long Laboratory, Dr. Wayne Felicien.
He explained that the island has purchased the Q32 which he said will be used for testing and diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019, or 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,” Felicien stated. “What we have actually done is purchase this equipment to reduce our turnaround time to a three to a four-hour period which would improve our ability to treat and see-through which patients are positive for COVID-19.”
He 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,” he remarked. “We are actually in dialogue with our suppliers, Caribbean Diagnostics who are now going to send someone on the island to conduct training, installation and validation which will last a period of five to seven 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 23.