January 19, 2022

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Jimena Garzon announces the need for a prescription for PCR and antigen tests in Ministerial Health Units |  Ecuador |  News

Jimena Garzon announces the need for a prescription for PCR and antigen tests in Ministerial Health Units | Ecuador | News

The official said the measure seeks to avoid supply shortages due to increased demand for tests.

The Minister of Public Health, Ximena Garzón, reported this morning that there is an “excess demand” in the requirements for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and antigen tests to detect COVID-19.

For this reason, the minister indicated that a guideline will be issued this afternoon so that the examinations will only be carried out with a prescription according to each clinical picture and not according to the free request. In ministerial health units where care is free. “If someone wants to take a test in a certain way, they can do it, and the guidelines we will draw are not for private laboratories, private care, or other members of the health network, IESS, Isspol, Issfa… “, It is to explain.

Garzon explained that this measure aims to avoid the shortage of these supplies and to be able to cover the areas where there are “hot spots” for infection with epidemiological surveillance. He added that the number of diagnostic tests around the world is still limited “that they are not left to free ordering nor are they finished so quickly”.

Today, Garzon said the country has 1,300 diagnostic centers with more than 200,000 antigen tests and 30,000 PCRs available. This number was considered sufficient to continue testing until the arrival of a new batch of supplies.

The official confirmed that she will continue to carry out free COVID-19 tests in health dispensaries with prior review by specialists in the mentioned centers.

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Currently, Ecuador is living with an increase in cases in some provinces and with requests for tests at health centers, municipal points, and private and public laboratories. Currently, there are 18% viral positivity, while before September it was less than 5% in the country.

“The epidemic remained under control for a few months, even when the delta variable was present,” Garzon said, based on international guidance.

As of last December, the month in which the omicron variant was also detected, the increase in cases has been demonstrated.

The country recorded a weekly increase of 9,676 cases, mainly in the provinces of Guayas, Pichincha, Manabi, Pastaza and Tungurahua.

Among the omicron variant of COVID-19, which is considered the most contagious, 68 cases were detected after genetic analyzes. The first case was discovered on December 14.

Of the 68 cases, 33 are in Guayas, 30 in Pichincha, two in Tungurahua, one in Napo, one in Chimborazo and one in Cotopaxi.

Garzon explained that despite the increase in infections in many provinces of the country, the death rate is still low due to the high level of vaccination among the population.

In the following weeks, health authorities expect a further increase in the number of cases.

From this week, people 50 years of age and older can go to any MoPH center for the booster dose application. Five months must have passed after the completion of the vaccination schedule (two doses). (I)