Mass testing is inefficient, ineffective, a waste of money – Minister Horace Chang

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Mass testing is inefficient, ineffective, a waste of money – Minister Horace Chang

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang in response to a question posed in Parliament today stated that mass testing for COVID-19 is ineffective, inefficient and a waste of money in Jamaica.

Chang who is a medical doctor was participating in a debate in the House which followed a presentation by Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

“Mass testing is inefficient and an ineffective means of monitoring COVID-19, that is a fact, it is a waste of resources. We have been in this continuous debate about mass testing versus structured testing. Our public health officers have adopted a testing programme which is efficient and better than most in the world.

“Any professional review of the approach in testing adopted by public health professionals in this country will demonstrate that they (public health officials) have adopted the best possible approach.

“The only countries that can compare with our professionals to date with testing are Taiwan and Vietnam.

“The principles they have adopted for testing like us is based on a traditional public health process which very few countries have kept alive,” Dr Chang said.

He then praised the workers in the country's public health system.

“We need to give credit to our professionals in the public health sector.

“It is a structure which crosses Government lines and I mean the medical officers of health supported by public health inspectors, public health nurses, district mid-wives, clinic nurses and community health aides.

“This approach leads to effective sentinel surveillance based on a number of primary care procedures across the island at hospital clinics which gives us enough reach across the island to provide adequate sampling.

“Again, we must give credit to our public health servants who have been doing an extremely high quality job and we must not allow the debate to change this.

“We should also give credit our people who have endured much since this crisis started but have held strong,” Chang ended.

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