30,000 antigen kits distributed to private labs to support national COVID testing efforts

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30,000 antigen kits distributed to private labs to support national COVID testing efforts

Thursday, January 14, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Ministry of Health and Wellness says a total of 30,000 antigen test kits have been distributed to six private laboratories to support national testing efforts for COVID-19.

Portfolio minister Dr Christopher Tufton said this is another example of public-private partnership around testing as part of Jamaica's COVID-19 response.

“It is another case of our working together as a team, as a country, to protect our population – our locals and those who visit,” Dr Tufton said.

The labs are Microlabs Limited, Biomedical, MDLink, Winchester Medical, Technological Solutions Limited and Baywest Wellness.

According to the ministry, the donation of 30,000 SD Biosensor test kits will support the laboratories' offer of testing beginning next Monday, January 18, pending the arrival of their own supplies within two weeks.

In a statement, Chief Executive Officer for Biomedical, Helen Christian, welcomed the donation.

“This is much appreciated. It will help us to roll out and ramp up the testing across Jamaica for our fellow Jamaicans, as well as for our tourists and to ensure we work together to combat this COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

The ministry said it is also working with four other private entities to offer PCR testing – the gold standard in testing for the virus that causes COVID-19 – within another two to four weeks.

The ministry urged the public to remain vigilant in the exercise of COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures, including the wearing of masks, physical distancing and the frequent washing and/or sanitising of hands.

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