ALARMED by the latest covid19 statistics from the Health Ministry, the Opposition Leader is demanding the ministry "significantly increase its testing capacity of suspected covid19 cases among the population.
In a statement, Kamla Persad-Bissessar referred to the ministry's latest update which confirmed 97 covid19 positive samples, 688 samples tested by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and six people dying from the virus.
Persad-Bissessar said it was worrying that the GIS map provided by the ministry "depicts the potentially very wide spread of covid19 in three of our most densely populated regions- Chaguanas, the East-West Corridor and Port of Spain."
She said it was unacceptable the the ministry "has tested 688 covid19 out of the 2,000 exposed people (by their statistics) in the past month."
Persad-Bissessar called on the ministry immediately to undertake widespread testing of all primary, secondary and tertiary health care workers deemed to be exposed/at risk for covid19 from any positive patient thus far; re-testing of all people with symptoms consistent with infection who initially tested negative; posthumous testing of everyone who died in the target period of flu-like symptoms and who was not tested before their death.
In the case of the six people who have died of covid19, Persad-Bissessar said, "This is for the protection and peace of mind of the families of the deceased and health care workers who may have treated these people." She also called for the re-testing of everyone who has recovered and has been deemed adequately immune.
Persad-Bissessar recommended the Government should amend the necessary regulations to undertake a joint medical public/private partnership venture. She said this will allow private medical labs across TT to undertake testing and thereby greatly assist with this much needed large scale covid19 testing.
She concluded such testing is a priority now at this "very fragile state of our nation's life, if we are to ensure our very survival."