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Apr 14, 2020

DHS Speaks on Future Testing Possibilities

Marvin Manzanero

Back to today’s Ask the Experts Session. Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero was asked about the possibility of Belize using rapid tests, as well as those that test for antibodies. Here’s what he shared about using those tests to test for COVID-19 in country:


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Has the MOH considered introducing the FDA approved rapid testing in Belize? Yes, once they are FDA approved. What we have been discussing this morning – that has been the topic of discussion – because people are asking us if we are going to be using the test that test for antibodies – even if we are to introduce that, that is not something you would routinely introduce at this point in time because that means that you have to wait for somebody to have developed antibodies and that is not necessarily going  to detect active infection because not everyone is going to develop antibodies at the same point in time. So, that is not a routine test. The gold standard for detecting SARS-COVID2 is going to be PCR testing which is what we are doing. If we are going to introduce antibodies testing which is a blood test that tries to find out if you have any antibodies against the virus, that can only be done as a parallel test to the PCR but it is not one replacing the other. Our idea is that maybe between six to eight weeks when there are more FDA approved test kits for them to be sold outside of the U.S., FDA and WHO approved test kits, we would move to that and we would keep  still the PCR testing in country. That is something we are looking at but for now the PCR testing is the gold standard.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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