Gov't finally acquires equipment to test for COVID variantsFriday, October 22, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government has finally acquired a Genome Sequencer that will be used to test samples to determine variants of the novel coronavirus in Jamaica.
The machine, which was acquired at a cost of $40 million by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, was handed over during a ceremony on Friday morning.
In a social media post, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the acquisition of the machine signalled the fulfilment of a commitment made by the government.
"Through financing from CHASE Fund, an agency under the Office the Prime Minister, the long-awaited Genome Sequencer, which will test for different strains of the coronavirus, as well as other viruses, was handed over to the National Influenza Centre at the University Hospital of the West Indies this morning (Friday)," Holness wrote.
"Commitment made, commitment fulfilled," he declared.
Prior to the purchase of the machine, COVID-19 positive samples were sent overseas for the detection of variants of the disease.
The equipment will now significantly enhance Jamaica's capability to test viral samples more quickly and accurately.