Jamaican News

Jamaica Expands Sampling And Testing For COVID-19

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says Jamaica is expanding sampling and testing for COVID-19.

He informed that as part of those expanded testing efforts, the Ministry will, beginning this Friday (April 17), commence mobile testing for COVID-19 in two health regions – Southeast Regional Health Authority (SERHA) and the Northeast Regional Health Authority (NERHA).

“We retrofitted five mobile units and four were deployed to the respective regions, and this is in aid of expanding the sampling, collection and testing for COVID-19,” Dr. Tufton said.

“One unit is based in Clarendon, and I actually visited the Corn Piece quarantined community where they were collecting samples a few days ago. That was the first one to be deployed,” he added.

The Minister was making a Statement in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (April 15).

Dr. Tufton said by Friday of this week (April 17), a second facility will be added to do COVID-19 testing. The National Public Health Laboratory will be able to do 350 samples per eight-hour shift.

So far, a total of 1,391 samples have been tested, resulting in 1,258 negative and 125 positive, with eight results pending.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has moved proactively to procure medical equipment and supplies needed in the Public Health System.

Dr. Tufton said to date, orders valuing more than $1 billion have been made. Major items delivered include 35 ventilators, six intensive care unit (ICU) beds, 50 physiological monitors and more than 2.2 million personal protective equipment (PPE) items.


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