Government’s move to significantly increase its daily COVID-19 tests, will soon be made possible by the arrival of thousands of swabs.
That is according to Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, who says around 50,000 swabs have already been ordered.
Speaking during a press conference on Monday, Bostic said after experiencing a shortage of the swabs required for testing for COVID-19, 2800 swabs had been made available to health authorities.
And last night, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George said they would be looking to move from 50 tests daily to between 500 to 600 tests daily.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Bostic gave his assurance that the necessary equipment would soon be available to accommodate the additional testing.
“We have paid for a lot more swabs, I mean like 50,000 but they are coming in batches. We are also getting some from PAHO. The intent is to get up to that number but obviously we are not going to burn all the swabs. It is based on when the shipments arrive,” he said.
“Once we get those orders that we placed before, then we would easily do what we want to do.”
Bostic reiterated that it was only when large-scale testing was conducted that Government would be able to get a better understanding of how many people were infected with COVID-19.
He said while Barbados was still doing a good job as it related to the number of people being tested per capita, more was required.
“Although things are looking really good we still can’t ease up until we have more evidence. We are testing at a fairly high rate per capita but we still need to do it on a wider scale in order to be satisfied that we are not having it out there and just not picking it up because people are not coming forward,” the Minister noted.
Of 1,222 tests conducted in Barbados, 76 positive tests have been recorded.
There have been six deaths to date, 40 persons remain isolated or quarantined and 30 people have so far recovered.