COVID-19 Testing Equipment Ordered, To Arrive End of Month

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Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Hon. Luke Browne has announced that the PCR instrument, required to test for COVID-19 has been ordered and is expected to arrive in state by the end of March, 2020.

Currently, COVID-19 testing for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is done at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE) is currently in the process of  establishing a lab here in SVG. Chief Medical Officer, Simone Keizer-Beache previously shared that the lab would be of level 2 standard, one step down from CARPHA’s level 3 lab.

The Ministry has reassured the nation that not having a lab in SVG will my no means slow down the diagnosis process.

The government is also in the process of constructing an isolation facility, which according to Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, will be operational by mid-April, 2020.

Minister Browne visited the Argyle location on Tuesday (Mar. 17) and shared that work is proceeding with three contractors currently on the job.

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During a press conference on Tuesday (Mar. 17), Prime Minister Gonsalves informed that the facility will have two separate floors. The first floor will house women, with the second housing men.

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On Wednesday March, 11, the MOHWE confirmed SVG’s first case of COVID-19, a female aged 30-35, who had returned from the UK after attending a meeting.

To date, a total of 23 persons have been tested for COVID-19.