The Ministry of Health wishes to update the general public on the recent inclusion of antigen or lateral flow device testing numbers on this week’s national COVID19 dashboard.
Since January 2021, the MOH has approved testing for COVID-19 using lateral flow devices (LFD) in response to the requirement for all travelers to be tested before entering the US and UK. Testing was scaled up to meet these requirements in order to ensure that travelers, whether locals or visitors, were able to enter countries who required proof of negative COVID19 tests.
The TCI has approved four lateral flow devices for use in the TCI which have undergone evaluation by Public Health England and meet their requirements for efficacy in testing for COVID19. These devices are able to provide results within 30 minutes.
Since the approval of LFDs for testing, Approved Travel Testing Centers have been in operation after undergoing the relevant inspections, training and fulfilling the relevant requirements to test by the Ministry of Health in accordance with the Public and Environmental Health Testing of COVID19 Regulations. A total of 21 testing sites have been approved.
Results of these tests are submitted to the Ministry of Health daily and have now been incorporated into the daily dashboard. To date (19.3.2021), a total 20,896 tests have been carried out. Since the 25th January 2021, a total of 94 persons have tested positive. 902 tests were carried out on 19th March 2021 with a total of 3 positive results reported for that date (0.3%). The number of positives pale in comparison to the number of negatives.
Positive cases undergo confirmatory testing at the National Public Health Laboratory and are included with the total number of positives reported.
It should be noted that the persons being tested includes both locals and visitors. The MOH will also be extending testing the use LFDs for the purposes of community screening to ensure that testing for COVID19 is more accessible as testing on a wide scale in addition to vaccination of a large proportion of the population are critical in the ongoing national response to the COVID19 pandemic.
More will be announced on this in due course.
All residents are encouraged to get tested through the various community testing venues throughout the TCI and register to get vaccinated on the vaccination portal at https://covidvaccineregistration.gov.tc/ or contact your Primary Health Care clinic for further information.