Doctor’s Hospital to introduce same-day PCR COVID-19 testing

Doctor’s Hospital to introduce same-day PCR COVID-19 testing
Doctors Hospital

Private health facility monthly testing capacity pegged at 12,000

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Doctor’s Hospital will introduce same-day PCR COVID-19 testing – with four to six-hour turn around – starting July 6, confirmed the health facility’s CEO Dr. Charles Sealy.

The new service comes as the world continues to grapple with a “new normal” as a result of the global pandemic.

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Sealy said the hospital now has the internal capacity to offer the best in class testing regime for the respiratory illness, estimated at 12,000 tests monthly.

“We are easily looking at being able to do 400 tests per day,” he said.

“We have the ability to ramp up beyond that as well, but to start off that’s a number that will easily support the Bahamian populace and some of the things that need to be accomplished from a safety perspective.”

The PCR testing is JCI accredited and approved by the Ministry of Health. Pricing for the tests is expected to be released on Monday.

“We are excited to be able to offer to the Bahamian people an opportunity where they can safeguard their institutions, both for their employees and their customers by using COVID-19 PCR testing as a way to identify whether those individuals would be positive or certainly what we hope are negative,” Sealy continued.

“We have now been able to increase our capacity within the institution where we now have the ability to do same-day results, so I think that’s a huge plus for many persons when they can get a four to six-hour turn around on the results, it gives them an opportunity to better manage through their organizations.”

He further explained that the facility has been able to build the capacity to offer quick turn-around testing because it has procured equipment that would allow the tests to be processed in-country.

“We feel very confident about being able to offer that to the Bahamian public, especially now as we start to open our borders,” Sealy added.

He said the additional testing in the country will go along way to assist both the government and also the private sector.

There have been 104 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas to date.

The country reopened it its borders to international flights on Wednesday.

However, officials maintain that while community spread has been contained and the curve has been flattered, the risk of a second wave remains.

The total number of cases has remained at 104 for just over three weeks.

As of Friday, 2,436 people had been tested for COVID-19 — eight more than the previous day.

A total of 289 people were tested for the virus in June, a contrast to April and May where testing climbed to over 50 per day for a period.

Health officials say the slowed testing rates in The Bahamas is a reflection of the reduced number of active cases and the numbers of individuals presenting with symptoms of the virus.