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Priority for Covid-19 Testing

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By Pamela Rancharan

PRIORITY is being given to testing of Covid-19 samples from healthcare workers and persons with respiratory ailments.

Dr Naresh Nandram

This was revealed by Principal Medical Officer, Dr Naresh Nandram, during the Health Ministry’s virtual media conference on Saturday.

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He was asked by AZPNews.com about a lag in the system after claims that persons were waiting sometimes a week and more for their test results.

Dr Nandram explained, “The backlog that we have only rarely goes back to the samples that we have.”

“Clinical cases are always prioritised and it’s for that reason that some persons are already sitting in quarantine where they’re not in contact with members of the public, they’re not moving around, not in contact with their own families,” Nandram said.

He said, “For example persons that have that would have been repatriated, those persons that are sitting in quarantine already suspected and have been brought into suspect facilities to look after the clinical management while they are awaiting a result for a test, those are the ones that we tend to put it at a lower bit of priorities.”

Dr Nandram said, “We would rather prioritise the urgent of course I always get a top priority we also prioritize our healthcare workers and persons are flagged by the team, the clinical teams, taking this as a likely Covid and I’m concerned. It’s not a simple first in first out. We are cognizant of the clinical urgencies and if we adopt a first in first out, given the situation then patients that are very very ill could be made to wait unnecessarily.”

“We’re working on the backlog. We are cognizant of that but it’s been done in a manner to do two things: One – minimise general risk. Persons sitting at home with the family, we try to prioritize those persons at clinical need, the very sick persons that the medical Chiefs of staff reach out to say listen this is a person with symptoms. Severe acute respiratory infections, we prioritise those and it’s kind of for that reason that some of the persons that are already sitting in quarantine have been delayed a little bit,” he said.

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