Local Testing For SARS-COV2 Variants To Begin Soon

The genome sequencer that is being acquired by government to enhance the country’s capacity to test for variant strains of the n-coronavirus locally, should be on the island shortly.

The equipment is being acquired because of the length of time it takes for Jamaica to receive the results from test samples sent overseas, to determine the various variants of the n-coronavirus that may be present on the island.

Responding to a question in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (July 21) regarding the status of the country’s testing capabilities, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, explained that the procurement process has proven to be lengthy.

“The genome sequencing machine is in the procurement process. The procurement process… is a long process and I was just informed that they are almost at the end of it and, hopefully, the machine will be here in  another couple of weeks; and then we would be able to do our own analysis of the variants that exist from the samples,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the COVID-19 Subcommittee of Cabinet will be discussing what additional measures can be implemented during the Emancipation and Independence celebration period to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases.

He recalled that last year, the country experienced an increase prior to and after the Emancipation and Independence period.

He said the Government has implemented measures to ensure that it will not be the “same free for all in terms of this emancipendence weekend… the events that are permitted are controlled events.”

“Last year with the emancipendence weekend there was really very little control over events, now with the protocols that we have put in place the events should be controlled, that is the large events.

“During the emancipendence period, you will also have many small  events and even now, we are seeing many small events, I know my constituency will have many little street parties and round robins  and so forth, like most of our constituencies, you are going to see an increase in that, we are going to be examining this very carefully over the weekend to see what additional measures we can put in place to ensure that these events do not contribute to a spike,” he said.




Source: JIS News

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