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Same-day virus tests set to be introduced

By FARRAH JOHNSON

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

WITH Doctors Hospital announcing plans to introduce same day PCR COVID-19 testing, a local health official does not expect this to lead to a significant rise in confirmed virus cases because there is "no community transmission" occurring at the moment.

Doctors Hospital CEO Dr Charles Sealy says the medical facility will offer same-day PCR COVID-19 testing, which is scheduled to begin today. He said the hospital now has the capacity to administer 12,000 tests a month.

When asked whether he believed COVID-19 testing numbers would increase since Doctors Hospital would now be offering them, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Delon Brennen told The Tribune he believed it depended "on the response of the private sector".

"Doctors Hospital is one of the partners in our emergency operations centre throughout this response," he said. "I think their market is slightly different from that of what the government is targeting so I think it could increase our testing numbers, but we're testing for two different purposes. They are responding to a need coming from the private sector and we are responding to the public health needs of when cases are identified."

Dr Brennen, pictured, also said he believed the additional tests would not increase the chance of the country experiencing a spike in reported COVID-19 cases, since there was "no community transmission happening" in the country at the moment. Still, he reasoned if the country did see an increase in cases, the stricter emergency orders would be "reimplemented."

When asked if the public should be alarmed if the additional testing reveals more local COVID-19 cases, he added: "The number of tests being done is not a reflection of the amount of transmission or lack thereof in the country."

In an interview with Eyewitness News last week, Dr Sealy said Doctors Hospital was aiming at administering up to 400 PCR COVID-19 tests per day.

"We have the ability to ramp up beyond that as well," Dr Sealy said. "But to start off that's a number that will easily support the Bahamian populace and some of the things that need to be accomplished from a safety perspective.

"We are excited to be able to offer to the Bahamian people an opportunity where they can safeguard their institutions, both for their employees and their customers by using COVID-19 PCR testing as a way to identify whether those individuals would be positive or certainly what we hope are negative."

Dr Sealy said the hospital's "increased capacity" has given the medical facility the ability to do same-day results. He said he believed this factor was a "huge plus" for many people who could now receive a four to six-hour turnaround on their results.

"It gives them an opportunity to better manage through their organisations," he said. "We feel very confident about being able to offer that to the Bahamian public, especially now as we start to open our borders."

To date, there have been 104 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country with 89 recovered cases and four active ones. According to the Ministry of Health's latest COVID-19 dashboard, over two thousand tests have been administered locally. The number of virus-related deaths remains at 11.

Comments

SP 2 years, 1 month ago

What is the cost of same-day PCR COVID-19 testing and what criteria is used to determine who pays for testing?

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tribanon 2 years, 1 month ago

Special introductory fee is $200+. But that will quickly rise to $500+, cash up front. Remember, for Doctors Hospital it's all about maximizing profits, even if at the expense of urgent patient care.

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ISpeakFacts 2 years, 1 month ago

We can't even test 2.500 persons in 5 months, but I'm supposed to believe we can now test 12,000 a month??? GET REAL, these "new tests kits" are obviously faulty and came from the most evil and nasty Yellow Chinese Muppet aka Xi Jinping and his crony that he sent to the bahamas aka Huang Qinguo! For sure these "new test kits" are infected with Chinese Virus and only the biggest of fools would dare get tested by one of those faulty monstrosities, and knowing this corrupt country the cost for the test will cost you an arm and a leg, but sadly the bahamas isnt the bahamas without its D- educated fools, so bring on the new chinese virus tests kits!!!

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TalRussell 2 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Minnis wasted no time in imposing hefty fines and stiff hard labour jail time for any small business operator caught making a couple of shillings off the selling of Masks. There should not be Labs for Profit out the pockets PopoulacesOrdinary at large POAL, but only tests 100% private insurer or government-paid for testing for COVID-19. Nod Once for Yeah, Twice for No?

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ThisIsOurs 2 years, 1 month ago

I think its good news. Now the hotels can have their customer facing staff tested on a regular schedule...that's my utopian vision...In reality it will mostly likely depend on the hotels bottom line. Maybe the ministry of tourism should take a sample of taxi drivers to test.

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TalRussell 2 years, 1 month ago

Ma Comrade ThisIsOurs, what say we start with Mr. Minnis, The House Speaker, his 33 House elected red coats MP's, and politically appointed senators?

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My2Cents 2 years, 1 month ago

Doctor’s Hospital is charging approx $220 per test, but most insurance providers are only covering the cost if you’re showing symptoms and a medical professional deems a test necessary. That’s a lot of money to pay out of pocket, whether it’s because the destination you wish to travel to requires it, your employer suddenly requires that you take one at your own expense, you were in contact with someone exposed to the virus and wish to know your status, etc. I’m sure DH would love to test 12k per month and rake in millions when the cost of doing so is a tiny fraction of that. It’s a shame testing in the midst of a pandemic isn’t free and widely available.

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shonkai 2 years, 1 month ago

Nodding once,Tai. Absolutely right!

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bahamianson 2 years, 1 month ago

let's not forget the false negatives.

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