MINISTRY OF HEALTH APPROVES TWO PRIVATE FACILITIES TO CONDUCT TESTING FOR COVID-19
Today, 7th September 2020, in accordance with the Public and Environmental Health (Testing of Covid-19) Regulations 2020 (Legal Notice 35 Of 2020), two private facilities were approved to commence testing for Covid-19.
These represent the first facilities which have received such approval from the Ministry of Health as required by the Testing of Covid-19 Regulations which outlines the application process and requirements for those facilities wishing to undertake testing either locally or through the referral of samples overseas to accredited laboratories for testing. An application process was undertaken in which interested facilities were required to submit documentation outlining standard operating procedures to conduct testing, collect samples, safety procedures, proper disposal of waste, protocols, details of staff training, particulars of equipment to be utilised as well the of submission of other relevant supporting documentation which had to meet required standards.
Approval was granted on the basis that only RT PCR testing can be carried out and that only asymptomatic individuals i.e. persons who do not have symptoms or signs consistent with Covid-19, can be tested. This does not include testing individuals identified through contact tracing. Other conditions for the approval were also stipulated in writing which included reporting requirements to the Ministry of Health as Covid-19 is a notifiable disease and the management of the Covid-19 pandemic is a Public Health responsibility.
The general public is reminded to adhere to the health guidelines to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19 including:
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available
- Covering your cough/sneeze with your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of it
- Wear face coverings in public
- Practice social distancing of 6 feet
- Staying home if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and call the health hotlines on 232 9444 or 333 0911
- Avoid crowded settings
- Avoid non-essential travel including local, regional and international travel
- Cooperate fully with contact tracing teams if you are contacted
- If you are placed in quarantine, remain at home for the prescribed time
- Do not discriminate against persons suspected of having Covid-19, anyone can be affected
- Stay informed-visit the Ministry of Health website for up to date information on https://www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus/