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Former Health Minister recommends free PCR testing sites countrywide

Last Updated on Friday, 17 September 2021, 11:16 by Denis Chabrol

Former Health Minister Volda Lawrence is recommending the establishment of free PCR testing sites across Guyana as well as the monitoring of households to avoid mingling among COVID- infected and uninfected persons.

Addressing a news conference for the first time since the March 2020 general and regional elections, Ms. Lawrence urged the her successor, Dr. Frank Anthony of the People’s Progressive Party to “take the politics out of health” and save as many lives as possible.

She recommended  that the provision of free PCR tests at sites across Guyana as a way of assisting Guyanese to manage the spread of the virus while those hesitant about taking vaccines make up their mind.  “I believe that we need to ensure that we allow people to go to more sites and we provide the free PCR. We are at that stage where there are persons who will not take the vaccine for one reason or the other,” she said.

Ms. Lawrence said that would greatly assist Guyana in returning to a semblance of normalcy “While we promote and get over the hurdles with those persons who would like to take the vaccines but they have questions, we have to ensure that we provide mechanisms so that those persons who are against taking the vaccines have access to PCR testing,” she said.

The Health Ministry, under Dr. Anthony, last year December introduced antigen testing countrywide.

The former Health Minister said “more monitoring” of households is needed because uninfected persons are mingling with infected persons.

The PNCR-led coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), Guyana Public Service Union and the Guyana Teachers Union have been agitating against what it regards as mandatory vaccination shrouded in the options of either taking a COVID-19 vaccine or producing a weekly PCR test before they are allowed entry to public buildings.