(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Fazeena Saleem |
Sidra Medicine has encouraged travellers to register online for COVID-19 tests well in advance of travel date as that will ensure most efficient service.
Sidra Medicine provides COVID-19 PCR testing with three different turnaround times. In order to achieve this, Sidra Medicine uses three different PCR methods which differ in cost, speed, and the number of samples that can be tested at the same time.
“If you require fast COVID-19 PCR results with guaranteed turnaround times, please register for an appointment on our website, where you will also find more information about the pricing and speed of each test. However, appointments may be limited during periods of high demand, so please book early. We also release additional appointment slots when there are cancellations. We encourage travellers to register online well in advance of their travel date as that will ensure the most efficient service,” Chair of Pathology at Sidra Medicine, Dr. Jason Ford told The Peninsula.
He was joined by Dr. Patrick Tang, Division Chief of Microbiology at Sidra Medicine, in sharing an update about COVID-19 testing at Sidra Medicine. During this unprecedented wave of Omicron infections, Sidra Medicine and similar institutions around the world have been challenged by the massive demand for PCR testing. “This has impacted the capacity to provide faster PCR tests for travellers,” said Dr. Ford.
“We also fully transitioned to online registration in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and thus keeping our clients and our staff safe during this wave,” he said.
“We also understand that some customers faced delays in the communication of their PCR results to Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). If you suspect that the transmission of your PCR result to the Ministry was delayed, please contact Sidra Medicine's call center,” he added.
According to Dr. Ford, when the Omicron wave subsides, testing at Sidra Medicine will review its services and PCR test turnaround times including accommodating more customers each day.
Sidra Medicine has been performing PCR testing since February 2020.“Early in the pandemic, we were able to deploy innovations developed in our hospital to enhance our PCR testing capacity and contribute this capacity to assist the public health efforts to control the outbreak in Qatar. The methods in the laboratory have continued to evolve to meet the needs of our patients and clients, to circumvent supply chain challenges, as well as fulfill requirements locally and internationally.”
Sidra Medicine opened its COVID-19 testing center in June 2021 for the wider public, particularly for those wishing to travel.
“If you choose our fastest PCR test, we can provide results in under 3-4 hours after your swab has been collected. All COVID-19 PCR results are directly sent to the MoPH within a few hours,” said Dr. Ford.“We also provide two tests which measure the antibodies your body makes against the virus which causes COVID: these are called“quantitative serology tests for SARS-CoV-2”. These tests measure the amount of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies that you have in your blood,” he added.
There are two main types of these antibodies: IgM antibodies are generated soon after an infection with COVID-19, whereas IgG antibodies are produced later and protect you from future infections.
“For people who are concerned about the strength of their immune response after vaccination or COVID-19 infection, we can measure the level of IgG antibodies in your blood. We deliver antibody results by the next day which is also shared with the MoPH on a daily basis,” said Dr. Ford.
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