The COVID-19 Clinical Laboratory Working Group led by the Puerto Rico Public Health Trust (PRPHT), a program of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust; Ciencia Puerto Rico, and the reference laboratories of Puerto Rico announce that 100,000 molecular tests for SARS-CoV-2 have already been completed since March 26 in collaborative efforts to fight the novel virus on the Island. The group also indicates that more than 3,000 daily tests are already being completed in these laboratories.
"This is a great achievement in the battle against COVID-19 in Puerto Rico," said Dr. Jose F. Rodríguez Orengo, executive director of the PRPHT. "We have been consistent in saying that we need to do as many molecular tests as possible on the Island every day in order to make responsible diagnoses of COVID-19. Only in this way can we develop reliable data so that the people are informed of the behavior of this virus; and tools to counteract its contagion, particularly in these moments of reopening of the economy.”
Recently, the Clinical Laboratory Working Group had reported that they had joined forces in collaboration with Ciencia Puerto Rico, Yale and a group of academic scientists from the Island to achieve 1,000 daily tests. For this, it was critical to maximize the sample collection procedure and have access to the reagents to carry out these tests. These efforts are already bearing fruit as they announce that their expectations were exceeded by achieving more than 3,000 tests daily in the reference laboratories of Puerto Rico, which include: Borinquen Laboratories, Core Plus Laboratories, Immuno Reference Laboratories, Ponce Health Sciences University, Quest Laboratories, and Toledo Laboratories.
"This number of molecular tests that we are performing represent 3,170 tests per 100,000 inhabitants, which places us in the 47th place in the world in a total of 215 countries. A month ago, we were among the most laggards in the world, but with the push and collaboration of all the laboratories we have reached a goal that many believed was not possible. In this next month, we are going to surpass additional goals and we say to the Puerto Rico public, that here we can do the necessary molecular tests for opening businesses and tracing contacts," said Lic. Ilia Margarita Toledo, director, and president of Toledo Laboratories in Puerto Rico. (Source: https://www.worldometers.info/ and https://ourworldindata.org/)
It is expected that this increase in tests will continue as the pooling or aggregation of samples presented by Dr. Marcos López, Research Manager of the PRPHT, is incorporated in laboratories; and new alliances are being made with other laboratories, academic centers, research laboratories and companies to carry out screening tests in communities.