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Mar 12, 2020

13 Samples, None Positive for COVID-19

Marvin Manzanero

The screening process for determining whether an individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 is not a series of test conducted on everyone with a cough or flu-like signs.  This afternoon, Director of Health Services Doctor Marvin Manzanero explains how the screening process works, in line with international guidelines.  So far, all samples have returned negative.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“The first test you’re going to run is the panel of the normal viruses you have.  If you have a strong suspicion which is taken up by the team, it’s not a single decision taken, then you will run the COVID-19 test and I think that of the seven samples we drew on Monday, I know even the British citizen who came out negative, we should still run a COVID-19 test.  So it’s not, we are not doing routine screening for COVID-19.  It is not that people who have the flu-like symptoms just show up and demand a COVID-19 test.  It doesn’t work like that, there’s a process flow that’s determined by the lab personnel.  There’s a clearly articulated chart based on international guidelines, based on international definitions and so that’s how the process is going to be.  Even if, and the person who sends down the sample has to write down the entire epidemiological history so that whoever is doing the lab sample can do the necessary screening test for COVID-19.  I think it’s thirteen samples that we have done and all of them are negative but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t come out positive for other viruses because that is the screening process that we will follow.”

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