Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, has said the recent delays in some visitors receiving their test results, especially from the second PCR test, were as a result of officials using the SHAPE App for the first time, in recording information.
He was speaking to media at the end of a handing over ceremony for medical supplies and equipment to polyclinics at the Glebe Polyclinic, The Glebe, St. George.
Minister Bostic said all polyclinic personnel were not trained to use the app, as it related to recording information and the labelling of vials for sampling.
This, he added, presented some challenges. “As a result of that, normally we would be able to get back results within a 24-hour period, but generally speaking that went to 48 hours, which is still generally within the existing protocol 24 to 48 hours, but we really wanted to do it within 24 hours,” he stated.
Lt. Col. Bostic continued: “In some cases, some people went beyond the 24 hours in terms of getting back results, so we spent a lot of time and effort trying to remedy the situation and I can say that we are almost back to ‘even keel’ in the sense that we have been able to get all of the tests completed, except for example, yesterday’s tests are being processed right now so, we are getting back there.”
The Minister of Health and Wellness said the situation would not get any easier as more tourists come to the island during the winter tourist season.
Given this expectation, Lt. Col. Bostic disclosed that additional staff had been allocated, and there had been “improvements in the processes, in terms of how we do things between the testing sites; getting the samples to the lab; the processing of the samples; and then the dissemination of results”.
“So, we are at the point now where we are quite certain that we are able to manage better going forward. But we still did not go beyond the 48 hours for everyone, but some people took a little longer than we would have wanted,” he added.