READ THE LETTER AND THE FAQ HERE (IN SPANISH)
Scientific organizations ask Governor to prioritize purchase of molecular tests for COVID-19
San Juan, PR - Recently, the Federal Government confirmed the allocation of $68 million to the Puerto Rico Department of Health to address the COVID-19 crisis locally. In this context, with the next phase of reopening already underway, organizations that are representative of the Puerto Rican scientific community, including the COVID-19 Wisdom Coalition (Coalición de Sabiduría COVID-19; COSACO PR) and the Puerto Rico Science Policy Action Network (PR-SPAN) and Ciencia Puerto Rico (CienciaPR) wrote a letter to Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, asking her to prioritize the purchase of molecular RT-PCR tests with these funds. The letter can be accessed and signed by the public at http://chng.it/M47rgzky.
“Given the decision to make the reopening of businesses more flexible, and until a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is available, it is necessary to ensure that Puerto Rico has a robust infrastructure to proactively identify and isolate cases of COVID-19 and stop possible outbreaks in the communities,” the letter reads. "The cornerstone of that robust infrastructure is molecular RT-PCR testing," the letter continues.
The groups recognized the utility of serological tests but emphasized that their wide use to diagnose and detect active COVID-19 cases is incorrect, since serological tests do not detect the coronavirus.
The letter concludes with 9 specific recommendations for the Governor to establish “a coherent and well-informed strategy based on the best scientific evidence to ensure that both serological and molecular RT-PCR tests are used appropriately, and that the appropriate public policy decisions can be made to stop the virus together, and preserve the health and lives of the Puerto Rican people.”
The letter was accompanied by a comprehensive document with reference information about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, testing, and contact tracing. That document is found at https://bit.ly/faq-covid19-cienciapr.