Caribbean News

New UK Variant here? TCI awaiting results from CARPHA

#TurksandCaicosIslands, January 29, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Ministry of Health is waiting now to hear what the results will be after swabs of positive cases for the coronavirus were shared with the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA.

Turks and Caicos Islands is unable to perform the genomic sequencing tests required to determine if the country is currently wrangling against the new, more vicious variants of the virus which has now killed eight people in the TCI.

Health Minister, Edwin Astwood during a national press conference informed that samples were to be sent off to the lab in Trinidad and Tobago which has the capacity to test and determine if the new variants are present in the Turks and Caicos.

The UK and South American strains appear to be reeking the most havoc and have caused governments to erect new barriers to travel; a Brazilian strain is also causing that country to face travel bans.

Minister of Health Edwin Astwood on Tuesday said it is a fact that the symptoms in the latest outbreak are more acute, leading to more hospitalisations and is in fact more deadly.

The results from CARPHA’s lab will confirm if any of the new strains are to blame.  The samples were to be dispatched since Wednesday.

In the past seven days, the UK variant has identified in Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands, where three patients were found with the mutation.

CARPHA says results on the sequencing, a much more complex testing, can take up to two weeks to return valid results.

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