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Long lines of people wait to be tested for COVID-19 yesterday at the Wildey Gymnasium. (Photo by Lennox Devonish)

Despite the long lines at Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, the Department of Health is functioning efficiently, said Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr Walter Alleyne.

On Thursday, some of those waiting at the gym to be tested for COVID-19 complained about wait times, turnaround times and having to wait in the sun. Others expressed dissatisfaction with what appeared to be preferential treatment.

Alleyne said some people do get preferential treatment, but it was for a reason.

“Department of Health, Royal Barbados Police and Barbados Defense Force personnel may have a higher risk of exposure to the virus, so we are trying to remove them from the general public and treat them. separately and more quickly.

“In addition, there are those where a cluster has been found that will be accelerated, such as the staff of the St Matthias court. I will admit that those standing on the outskirts may misunderstand this procedure, but I assure the public it is not about friendship or faster passage because of who you know, ”he said. -he declares.

Regarding wait times, Alleyne said this was due to the number of people present and the fact that many of them arrived hours before the opening. Despite this, he said turnaround times were relatively quick.

“Yesterday (Wednesday) from 9:30 am to noon, we treated 500 people, so everyone who is there now will be gone in about an hour. The processing rate is fast despite the numbers and we are quite efficient at it. Unfortunately, we have noticed a number of times that some people don’t think they pass as fast as they should, ”he said.

Alleyne declined to comment on people having to wait in the sun or occasionally in the rain, and when contacted, Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George also declined to comment. (CALIFORNIA)

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