Following the procurement of 15 machines and more than 10,000 test cartridges, health authorities in Trinidad say they are preparing to roll out COVID-19 antigen testing.
Principal Medical Officer of Health for Epidemiology, Dr Naresh Nandram, said the Ministry of Health is currently carrying out the validation process for the tests.
Nandram said that the test performance must be validated by the ministry before rolling out, in order to ensure the safety of staff and the public.
“We need to confirm the manufacturer’s claims to verify the performance of this test. That will ensure we can rely on the results. It also helps us identify within our local setting, the requirements for this test,” said Nandram.
“For example, how long after symptoms start can you use this test? Can this test be used for persons that have no symptoms? These are the kinds of questions we’re examining during the verification process.”
In August 2020, the government ordered 160,000 rapid antigen test kits, purchased at a cost of US$960,000.