UWI secures high-tech testing machines and 2000 COVID-19 test kits for Jamaica

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UWI secures high-tech testing machines and 2000 COVID-19 test kits for Jamaica

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The University of the West Indies (UWI), through the International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Sciences (ICENS) has brokered a deal for the donation of a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machine and 2000 testing-kits valued at approximately US$100,000.

Director of the ICENS, Charles Grant, said he negotiated the deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to the IAEA, the RT-PCR is a nuclear derived technique that allows for rapid detection, tracking and study of COVID-19 and other viral diseases. It is one of the most accurate laboratory detection methods and is able to deliver reliable diagnoses in as little as three hours. The university said when compared to alternative virus isolation methods, RT-PCR is significantly faster and reduces the potential for contamination or errors.

Commenting on the deal, Grant said, “Jamaica has had a longstanding and fruitful collaborative history with IAEA, particularly with the Technical Cooperation Division, with whom Jamaica has partnered on numerous national developmental projects. This latest donation will play an important part in our fight against COVID-19. I would also like to thank the Government of the United States of America who provided much of the funding for the donation.”

The ICENS received high commendation by the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, who expressed his gratitude and noted that the donated resources will aid in meeting the increased testing requirement in Jamaica.

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