Sunday 27 September, 2020

Cayman likely to move away from WHO testing protocol

"We will loosen the ability to test and move away from WHO recommendations to test more widely," said the Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee. 

This proposed multi-step process comes after a clinical panel recommended that Cayman should now test more widely for COVID-19, which is a move away from World Health Organization protocol.

This is in response to the arrival of 165,000 tests from South Korea to the islands. A remaining 35,000 are coming from the UK at some point in the future.

The government received funding from CIBC First Caribbean and local philanthropist, Susan A. Olde OBE - in addition to its own resources.

This new shipment of tests will allow local testing of 500-600 tests per day. This is up from the 150 tests that can currently be run per day.

Healthcare workers and frontline workers will be the primary priority with regards to testing. 

The other issue with testing is the testing capacity of the laboratory. "We don’t want to push the test too hard," said Dr Lee.

In order to do the tests, the following resources are required:

  • Swabs (1,000 arrived with British airways flight and there some available on-island prior to this)
  • Skilled technicians (1 currently trained and two more being trained)
  • Bio-safety cabinets (several are currently available but are being used for other purposes such as chemotherapy. Two bio-safety cabinets are on order for the HSA.
  • Other supplies for the PCR machine

Doctor’s Hospital may soon be able to bring their PCR machine online. All three hospitals: Health City, Doctors hospital and the HSA will be sharing processes.

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