The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority’s Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac now has a GeneXpert machine in operation to test persons for COVID-19. The GeneXpert is an automated, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test providing COVID-19 results faster than the traditional PCR machine.
“For our patients who would need hospital admissions and emergency procedures, we will be able to do the test faster to receive the result within an hour,” said Dr Srirangan Velusamy, Director of Sister Islands Health Services. “Previously all samples were sent to HSA’s Forensics Lab on Grand Cayman for PCR testing. Having this machine on Cayman Brac will allow HSA to better serve our sister islands community.”
Travelers returning to the Sister Islands as part of Government’s Quarantine at Residence (QAR) programme will now have their test resulted via the GeneXpert.
“The GeneXpert has capacity to run four samples per testing cycle. Therefore, if the lab has more than four samples results will take longer than an hour due to the machine’s capacity,” confirmed Dr. Velusamy.
“A lot of effort went into getting this machine to Faith Hospital,” said HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood. “In addition to procuring the machine, which is in high demand, the laboratory at Faith Hospital was upgraded in order to allow space for processing the tests. We are pleased to now have the machine validated and other laboratory equipment certified. This is another step in our country’s efforts to keep Cayman safe from any spreading of COVID-19.”
HSA laboratory staff at Faith Hospital have been fully trained and certified to use the GeneXpert using Public Health England guidelines.