Stating that the size of BVI is an advantage, medical practitioner and former legislator Dr Kedrick Pickering is calling on government to perform coronavirus tests on every resident in the territory.
He said the time has come for the territory to be ‘a little more proactive’ on the matter.
“What do I mean by that? I mean the BVI should be showing more leadership regionally and internationally as to where exactly we are with this particular virus. By now, we should have been able to test everybody in the BVI. We have a small population, we should have been able to find the money from somewhere and bought enough test kits and would have tested every single person, man, woman and child in this country,” Dr Pickering said during Honestly Speaking radio programme on Tuesday.
He said administering those tests would enable officials to have a “good sense of the prevalence of the virus”.
Conduct antibody testing too
The medical doctor also called for the territory to conduct antibody testing.
He said while there is no universally-accepted way to test for antibodies, it is important to utilize the current methods to find out which residents are immune to the highly-contagious virus.
“For instance, you need to be able to go to your doctor and say ‘I need an antibody test’ and he can send you to the lab and you would know if you have been affected by the virus,” Dr Pickering explained.
“That is where we are right not. But things may change because it is a rapidly-changing situation. But there is no reason in the BVI why we can’t do that and make testing universally available to all our people so that, as you gradually open up your doors, you then can extend that testing to all the visitors coming,” the former legislator reasoned.
According to the Centre For Disease Control & Prevention, an antibody test looks for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins the body makes in response to infections.
As ith relates to COVID-19, this test would not check for the virus itself, but it looks for whether a person’s immune system has responded to the infection.
Dr Pickering said information from such a test could then be used to make decisions going forward.
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