UHWI adds second COVID test area

September 14, 2020

The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) has added a second COVID-19 swabbing station, which would help increase testing for the virus.

Head of Anaesthesia and the Intensive Care Unit at the UHWI, Dr Kelvin Metalor, noted that there was a COVID-19 station placed initially at the Accident and Emergency Unit, which catered to patients who were experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. However, there was an increase in the demand for testing for those persons who required a negative COVID-19 test for travelling purposes or resumption of work.

"As you would know, COVID-19 doesn't stop life from going on. Persons needed tests to be done but the demand could not be met by sending them to the swabbing station at Accident and Emergency. It simply could not be done there," he said. Members of the public can visit in the COVID-19 swabbing station but there has to be a dire need for the test.

'Clear indication needed'

"We want to discourage persons from just wanting to do a test, it's not a good thing to do because there has to be a clear indication for it. The more people that are tested, the better. But that has to be done in a context. Not every symptom you feel is necessarily COVID-19. That's why it is important sometimes to have someone check it out before you come and have a test done," Metalor said. He said that the swabbing exercise is completed within minutes, but because some persons get agitated or frightened, it can take longer. Test results come back within three days. The stations are opened from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, and attract a cost of $18,500. The station is deep cleaned and sanitised.

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