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Antigen testing of suspected COVID-19 patients in Havana

vacuna cienciaGiven the complex epidemiological situation in the capital, recently experiencing growing numbers of new COVID-19 cases, the city’s neighborhood polyclinics and hospitals have begun administering antigen tests for the virus to patients with symptoms indicative of a possible infection.

According to information presented in a meeting of the Provincial Defense Council, every facility of this type now has on hand the resources needed to provide the test, and depending on the result, can discard the presence of SARS-COV-2 as the possible cause of illness in such cases.

According to established protocols, patients whose antigen test is negative are referred to hospitals specialized in treating non-COVID related respiratory illnesses, while those testing positive are transferred to isolation centers for suspected cases, where they will be given a PCR test, to definitively confirm whether or not they have been infected with the SARS-COV-2 virus.

According to an ACN report, Defense Council authorities insisted on the need to provide sufficient capacity in facilities of this nature to deal with the increase in suspected cases, although an effort is being made to reduce the number of patients referred to these centers by some 50%.

Tatiana Viera Hernández, Havana’s government program coordinator, stated that nine sites are ready to receive unconfirmed suspected cases of COVID-19, with a total capacity of 2,036 beds, with 566 occupied at the time.

The hotel chain Islazul has again prepared several of its facilities to be used for this purpose, including the Lido, Terrazas, Bella Habana and San Alejandro Hotels.

The Havana Defense Council also mandated that healthcare professionals in direct contact with COVID-19 patients return to working as they did in previous severe stages of the epidemic, with two continuous weeks on duty, remaining isolated when off-duty, followed by a period of quarantine.

(Taken from Granma)


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