The State has received rapid antigen test kits for COVID-19, which will now be deployed at major health centres across the country.
Back in August, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh revealed that Government had ordered 160,000 of these test kits, at a cost of US$960,000.
At that time, he also referred to the kits as “a game changer” since they are rapid tests with a high accuracy rate.
The kits arrived on Wednesday and consist of two types: Type Q and Type F.
Explaining further was Principal Medical Officer of Health for Epidemiology, Dr Naresh Nandram, who said this form of testing technology has improved over the course of the pandemic.
The Standard F kits require the use of a portable machine.
The Standard Q kits meanwhile are similar to a pregnancy style test kit, and will be deployed at the community level.
Dr Nandram however remainds that these new antigen tests will not replace PCR testing which remains the gold standard.
He also assured that there will be intensive training for medical staff, to ensure the tests are used properly so they produce reliable results.
Meanwhile Minister Deyalsingh today revealed that he was the first person to be tested using the new antigen kits.
His test returned negative.