The backlog of COVID-19 test results should have been cleared by Wednesday, according to Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic.
He gave an assurance that operations at the Best-Dos Santos Public Health Laboratory had returned to normal following the acquisition of a chemical reagent to speed up the process.
Lt Col Bostic said it was imperative that test results be brought up to date to make an accurate assessment of positivity rates and the pervasiveness of COVID-19 in Barbados.
He revealed that as of Sunday, 534 tests were performed which yielded 63 positive cases.
But he said that after receiving the reagent solution on Monday, the lab was able to give results from 1,251 tests.
To date, 28 people have died from the 2,457 infections confirmed so far from 115,813 tests.
The health minister said: “I am happy to report that the [Best-dos Santos] laboratory is back to normal. The backlog is being cleared, the last set of tests are being run and the backlog will be cleared today so that we will get back to currency.”
He dismissed suggestions that some samples had been lost at the laboratory, explaining that in some instances, critical information needed for the samples to be identified was missing.
Lt Col Bostic told journalists: “I can tell you that once samples arrive at the lab that those samples are processed and are not lost. I can say to you that there have been delays obviously in the delivery of tests and we would have gone through that in the last several weeks.
“We would have indicated also that in some cases the information that is required to accompany some of the samples, all of the information was not there and in some cases, we did not have the information and a lot of work had to be done in order to try to find out exactly who the samples belonged to and we have been able to do that for the most part,” Bostic said.
“In one or two instances where there was still difficulty in making the link even though the samples were available in the lab we re-swabbed and retested those persons, so the lab is not losing samples.”