The New Today
Local News

CARPHA clears the air

(L-R) Dr Joy St. John, Executive Director CARPHA, Dr Lisa IndarAssociate Director, Surveillance Disease Prevention and Control

Executive Director of CARPHA, Dr Joy St.John on April 1 addressed the misconceptions regarding the role of CARPHA in the fight against COVID-19.

Dr St. John emphasised that CARPHA functions as the“regional reference laboratory” which tests suspected COVID-19 cases for 18 of its 19 members.

She said that samples can only be USD sent to CARPHA via the designated National Public Health Authority in the country.

She explained that once the samples are processed (within 24 to 48 hours) the results are sent to the Chief Medical Officer at the Ministries of Health, who are responsible for disseminating the results.

Dr St. John called on physicians and members of the public to refrain from contacting CARPHA for test results.

In clarifying their testing protocols, Dr Lisa Indar, Associate Director, Surveillance Disease Prevention and Control said that CARPHA’s regional referencing laboratory conducts tests on suspected cases of COVID-19 in accordance with WHO recommended testing criteria.

Dr Indar pointed out that CARPHA’s acceptance criteria is also based on WHO guidelines, “samples taken from a patient must meet the WHO guidelines…you must have fever, and respiratory illness, together with travel history, or been in contact with a case or you have these symptoms with no other explanation… the key is you must have fever and respiratory symptoms.”

Additionally, samples must be taken within the recommended period of 0 to 10 days from the onset of symptoms.

Dr Indar confirmed that CARPHA does not currently test asymptomatic cases or any samples taken after 10 days from the onset of the symptoms.

She said CARPHA has been preparing to have the capacity for 20,000 tests, but currently “has enough (testing kits) to take us through the next three weeks”.

From February 10 to March 25, CARPHA conducted USD $228,250 worth of testing at the rate of USD $250 per test.

Dr St. John confirmed that, up to March 31, 2020, 929 tests have been conducted regionally, with over 500 coming from Trinidad.

If you are satisfied with the information provided by The New Today to our many readers, followers and supporters around the world, then you can show your appreciation by making a financial contribution to the effort of our team of dedicated workers.

Giving back is a way of saying thank you for our efforts

Support The New Today