#Kingston, Jamaica, October 22, 2020 — The Government has commenced training for health workers in the administration of the antigen test, which is to be utilized to detect novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, advised that the first training session was held last week, adding that another is slated to be held shortly which will also focus on protocols for personnel designated to administer the test, among other procedures.
He was speaking during the Ministry’s weekly COVID Conversations digital press conference on Thursday (October 15).
Dr. Tufton also advised that the Government is still awaiting the arrival of 80,000 antigen test kits, which were ordered through the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) for delivery in October.
He said it is anticipated that by month-end, “we would have been much clearer in terms of when we will start [antigen testing]”.
“[The] processes [that] have to take place and some of the variables [relating to procurement and delivery] are not totally in our control. We have to depend on PAHO to make their final arrangements for the movement [of the supplies],” Dr. Tufton indicated.
The acquisition of kits for antigen testing, which is a faster, simpler and more cost effective method for detecting COVID-19, is being facilitated through a collaboration involving the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and the United Nations.
Full implementation of the procedure will involve all hospitals, major health centres and private sector laboratories, including those in privately-operated medical facilities.
The test must be sanctioned by a physician to whom the report on the result will be submitted, as well as the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
JIS NEWS BY AINSWORTH MORRIS