In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and the staggering increase in cluster spread, I share my concern based on my experience. I developed flu-like symptoms and in light of age and existing co-morbidities, I decided to have a Covid-19 test.

On August 14, I had the test done at a recommended health centre, where several ill-looking persons waited to be tested. Exposure to Covid-19 was quite probable in that environment!

To date, I have not received my test result. When I finally got through a few days ago, the personnel informed me that someone has to go to the health centre to collect my result.

Concerns:

1. The long, frustrating period of waiting for a result, be in self-quarantine and to be off work.

2. The absence of releasing result when phone and e-mail contacts are given.

3. The increased risk of spreading the infection, if present, during this long waiting period.

4. The question of confidentiality and going to a high-risk environment to collect the result for another.

Recommendations:

1. Accelerate the process of releasing results so people can move on with their lives and be productive in their work outside of home.

2. If not in place, have technicians around the clock 24/7 performing testing.

3. Assess the high cost of testing at private facilities but convenient for speedy results

4. Increase the number of approved labs for testing

5. For the hotline, consider hiring volunteers like retired medical personnel to answer calls 24/7.

Merle Ali

via e-mail

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