Dr Rogers: COVID machines reliable  - Solomon Star News

Dr Rogers: COVID machines reliable 

29 October 2020
Dr. Jimmy Rodgers

SECRETARY to the Prime Minister (SPM) Dr. Jimmy Rodgers assured the nation that the COVID-19 test machines are reliable and complement each other when testing for the COVID-19 virus.

The assurance was given following doubts over the inconsistency of the COVID-19 test results of the first four cases.

It was understood that the Solomon Islands recorded its first four cases after the repatriation flight from the Philippines earlier this month.

Asked whether the Covid-19 testing machines are functioning at all or reliable, the COVID-19’s Oversight Committee Chairman said during the press conference on Tuesday that the country is assured that the machines are reliable.

 “The machines are working well, they are reliable and they confirm each other or validate each other,” Dr. Rodgers confirmed.

He further explained that the reasons why we say the results are negative, positive, and then negative again are simply a reflection of changes in the viral load in the human blood.

“So when we have the virus built up in your body, the readings will clearly indicate the existence of the virus.

However, when an earlier test failed to give a positive reading, it simply means that the small amount of virus is in the blood but is so minute to be detected,” he explained.

Dr. Rodgers further explained that one of the machines is very sensitive to the low level of the COVID-19 virus and that’s the GeneXpert machine.

It was understood that working together with the World Health Organization (WHO), Australia and New Zealand funded the successful procurement and delivery of highly sought after GeneXpert PCR testing cartridges to the Solomon Islands.

In terms of the QPCR machine, Dr. Rodgers explained that during testing, the machine picked the antibodies which means the person has been infected and the body has responded to it.

“Therefore, by the time the antibodies picked up by the machine, the person is already recovering which means within a day or two we expect the result to be negative,” he explained.

In terms of the treatment, Dr. Rodgers said that in fact there’s no treatment for coronavirus, the only thing the health experts did was to treat the symptoms of the virus.

“So it means if the positive patient has a fever, we give them paracetamol or if the patient cannot eat, water is administered through AV treatment,” he said.

Dr. Rodgers said all our patients both in and outside the country an asymptomatic.

This means that they are not sick so the only treatment they need is healthy food.

“I can assure you that our health officials are monitoring them and continue to assist them as far as their health is a concern,” he said.

Newsroom Honiara