Antigen Testing in Tobago from Next Week

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ANTIGEN testing to detect Covid-19 should be available in Tobago by next week.

This was confirmed by Tobago’s health officials on Friday during the Tobago’s  Division of Health, Wellness, and Family Development virtual media conference.

Covid-19 response team member in the County Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) office Dr Anthony Thompson stated that  antigen testing was validated worldwide.

“It is approved by the World Health Organization,” he said.

Dr  Thompson said, “What we are very optimistic about achieving with the antigen testing is a much quicker turn round time-frame in identifying positive patients. The antigen testing will allow us to pick out a significant percentage of the positive cases that come through the door with a turnaround time of an hour. It’s going to be a game changer in how we treat and isolate those who are positive.”

Lab technicians were trained and the division’s secretary Tracy Davidson-Celestine said the launch should be ready by the end of next week.

Shanic May 2021 edited latest to use

However, Dr Thompson mentioned that swabs would still be sent to Trinidad to be validated especially in the early stages of testing.

He said two samples will be taken and matched against each other. Eventually, positive antigen tests will be treated as such but negative swabs will be sent to Trinidad for further validation.

And although Covid-19 cases and deaths have also increased in Tobago, Davidson-Celestine assures, “All our systems are in place when it comes to the management of Covid-19.”

Such management also included the granting of Covid-9 relief which she said was an ongoing basis.

Davidson-Celestine said, “We have over 759 persons who have since applied for food support and we have just about 34 persons who have applied for rental assistance. They continue to be assessed on a day to day basis and will receive the support accordingly.”

Vouchers vary from $510 and up to $800 she added.


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