Hon Health Minister, Dr Irving McIntyre says two training programmes are ongoing for local medical professionals to be able to test for the novel coronavirus as well as to detect the presence of tuberculosis bacteria before it develops into the disease.
“While we’re doing the training for the coronavirus, we’re also doing training in gene expert technology which is what we’re going to use to help us diagnose tuberculosis. We have two trainings going on at our labs.
“After the training, we have what we call the validation process for the results to make sure that things are correct and after that, you can comfortably go on to test for the virus.
“We are well on our way, apart from CARPHA in Trinidad who can get things done, we will definitely be next in line.”
Dr McIntyre had said at Parliament recently that Dominica will be the only regional island with the capability to test for coronavirus.
He walked back that statement this week.
“As of Monday when I mentioned it, it wasn’t being done in the Caribbean as yet so we are well on our way to maybe be the second because Barbados is just trying to negotiate to get their PCR and coronavirus testing capacity to begin.”
Last week in parliament, he had also named other tests being conducted in Dominica.
“At our lab, we actually have HIV Viral Load testing, you won’t get that anywhere in the OECS; we have HIV DNA PCR testing, you won’t get that anywhere in the OECS; we have molecular TB testing which is gene expert testing, you won’t get that anywhere in the OECS.”