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Oct 14, 2020

Explaining What is a Nucleic Acid Test

Marvin Manzanero

Since the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport on October first, visitors arriving in Belize are expected to present a negative SARS COVID-2 test result.  Those who did not get tested prior to departure are swabbed and tested upon landing at the P.G.I.A.  The number of cases of COVID cases from visitors remains on low side. There has been an issue, however, with persons arriving with the results of nucleic acid amplification testing which reveals whether a patient is actively infected with the coronavirus.  While it detects the presence of characteristic sequences of SARS COVID-2 genetic material in respiratory samples of patients, it is not necessarily the result being sought by health officials at the airport.  Dr. Manzanero explains.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We are going back to review what kinds of tests people are bringing because some people are bringing nucleic acid tests and some other kinds of test.  Understand that there is a PCR test that we are requesting and it needs to satisfy the quarantine officer on the ground because we feel that if there is any anomaly in there then that person can be subjected to further screening.”

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