Private Labs to Test for Covid-19

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PRIVATE laboratories are being encouraged to do testing for Covid-19.

This was revealed by Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh during the virtual news conference on Tuesday.

He said this was one of the new measures in the Public Health [2019 Novel Coronoavirus (2019-nCoV)] (No.8) Regulations, 2020.

“We are asking all private labs once you have your PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machines to approach CARFA (Caribbean Public Health Agency) for validation.

Deyalsingh said the new regulations (#8) now puts a positive duty of care on private labs who are certified by CARFA “to have a positive reporting obligation to report their results directly to the Chief Medical Officer and not to individuals.”

He said this will “ramp up” testing and help create a national data base of Covid-19 cases.

Any lab that does not conform to the regulations will be liable to a fine of $50,000 or six months in prison.

Regulation 8 states:

  1. 8. (1) Notwithstanding the fact that the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has not yet approved any private medical laboratory to do testing for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), where a private medical laboratory does such testing on a person and the result of such testing is a positive result, the private medical laboratory and the person so tested, shall immediately report and forward the results to the Chief Medical Officer and the Regional Health Authority of the area in which the person to whom the results apply resides or works.

(2) Where a private medical laboratory under subregulation (1) fails to report and forward the results to the Chief Medical Officer and the Regional Health Authority of the area in which the person, to whom the results apply, resides or works, the owner or operator of such private medical laboratory and the person so tested commit an offence and each is liable on summary conviction to a fine of fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for six months.

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