Tuesday 11 August, 2020

COVID-19: Barbados buys an additional 20,000 test kits

The Government of Barbados has purchased 20,000 COVID-19 test kits from the Cayman Islands to increase its stock of the medical supplies needed to help combat the pandemic.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley made the announcement during her April 11 address to the nation. 

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“I want to thank the Cayman Islands Government. We’ve been working quietly behind the scenes in the region. Even though we have 50,000 coming through PAHO [Pan-American Health Organisation] as I indicated to you the last time, we’ve bought another 20,000 kits which are the ones used in South Korea but compatible with the machines that we have here.”

To date there has been a total of 747 laboratory tests conducted and 68 persons have tested positive for COVID-19. Eleven persons have recovered and four persons have succumbed to the illness. 

With reference to the additional kits purchased from the Cayman Islands, the Prime Minister emphasized that Barbados needs to “stock up on these kits and stock up on the swabs” to ensure adequate preparedness in managing the COVID-19 health crisis.

“The biggest problem we have right now is access to swabs, and therefore we’ve been managing that process. The leadership of PAHO, the leadership of CARPHA [Caribbean Public Health Agency] has been absolutely, absolutely brilliant in their interaction with us,” noted Mottley, who has also been liaising with the World Health Organisation (WHO) leadership.

The Cayman Islands Government also confirmed the purchase during a press briefing April 11.  It was reported that the 20,000 test kits, which were among 100,000 excess kits in the Cayman Islands’ possession, were sold at cost to the Barbados Government. The purchase by the Barbados government also included 200 dry swabs.

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