Let people buy antigen tests to detect covid19



MY POINT IS: Caroni East MP Dr Rishad Seecheran speaks Sunday at the UNC press conference on Sunday at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition in Port of Spain. PHOTO BY ANGELO MARCELLE –

CARONI East MP Dr Rishad Seecheran called on the government to allow individuals to purchase antigen tests, an inexpensive and quick way to detect if they have covid19.

Speaking at the UNC press conference on Sunday at the opposition leader’s office in Port of Spain, he said the PCR test, which is now required to show someone was free from covid19, was only valid for three days after the test and was much more expensive. than the antigen test.

“Antigen testing is widely available and, in many cases, is provided free of charge by the employer, eliminating the need for expensive PCR testing.

“Every other country in the world is using WHO-approved over-the-counter antigen test kits to screen for the asymptomatic carrier,” Seecheran said.

Seecheran said antigen testing could quickly let people know their status so they don’t become a super spreader, even though he remembered a Magdalena hotel employee finding out she had covid19 only afterwards. taking stock after being hit by Prime Minister Chariot’s golf course.

He said no one at TT has said why these antigen test kits are not authorized despite being approved by the WHO. In the US these kits are sold in drugstores for US $ 15-20 while in the UK they are free.

Seecheran said England had abandoned plans to set up safe zones that were adopted in the TT where only fully vaccinated people can access goods and services in restaurants, bars, cinemas, casinos and gyms .

He said that two weeks after starting these safe zones, TT saw a marked increase in covid19 cases, especially the delta variant.

“Is this current increase due to safe zones? The vaccination card is easy to forge and there is literally no way for the owner of a safe zone facility to verify whether the document is genuine,” did he declare.

He said the health ministry allowing photocopies of vaccination cards and screenshots of those cards as proof of vaccination only adds to the uncertainty and potential for fraud.

Seecheran also suggested that TT follow Antigua and Barbuda by having a vaccination card with a QR code as a way to identify those who are completely vaxxed as opposed to those who are not. “The QR code, when scanned, will give authorized agencies access to a live database with real-time vaccination status. “

He also questioned the Prime Minister’s decision to travel abroad for the COP26 climate talks in Scotland at a time when covid19 cases are on the rise and the parallel health sector on the brink of collapse.

Referring to the potential for another wave of covid19 infections, Seecheran asked, “Why are we reopening the economy when we have such an increase in cases? If we are putting caution to the wind, why have we closed these? small businesses for more than a year? “

Seecheran demanded accounts of the Department of Health’s spending of $ 480 million on covid19. “Have we bought additional ventilators for this coming health crisis?

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