Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr Morais Guy says some of the protocols guiding the testing of COVID-19 cases are in need of urgent modification.

The Opposition spokesman raised the concern in a statement issued yesterday.

Dr Guy says based on World Health Organization, WHO, recommendation for more testing of patients, the Ministry should start testing persons who are in quarantine centres, either at home or in state-run facilities. 

This, he says, as opposed to only testing persons who are showing symptoms of the coronavirus.

In the media statement, the Shadow Spokesman says the Opposition is more convinced by the scientific data that the coronavirus can be spread by persons who show no symptoms. 

He says it’s on that premise that the Opposition’s strongly recommending the protocols be modified.

Dr Guy says the Opposition’s also of the view that only when the true extent of the spread’s known that proper planning with regards to needs and requirements can be conducted.

Dr Guy, along with doctors Shane Alexis and Winston De La Haye, is also recommending that all persons in quarantine should be tested after five days post-exposure to minimize the false-negative test.  

Dr Guys says that’s the present best practice.

The Opposition’s also repeating its call for the sourcing of additional testing materials to include cheaper and more accessible testing kits. 

The team of doctors also recommend that a parallel testing pilot be done with the cheaper kits against the standardized viral testing at the National Influenza Laboratory to determine its suitability. 

The team says doing so could allow mass testing by local health authorities supported by private labs, giving a more accurate idea of the magnitude of the spread in Jamaica.