Second batch of samples still not sent to CARPHA for coronavirus variant testing

Jamaica is still uncertain whether there are more cases of the highly contagious COVID-19 variant in the country, as the Ministry of Health has not been able to send a second batch of samples for testing.
The Health Ministry had sent samples collected from travellers on the last UK flight into the island last month to the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).  
Four passengers tested positive for the new variant and a second batch of 20 samples was expected to be sent earlier this month.
However, the Ministry of Health on Friday told Radio Jamaica News that it has been experiencing challenges in sending the remaining samples to CARPHA.
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton said the samples were not sent as planned as the ministry was unable to access commercial flights to Trinidad because of the closure of that country's borders.
After two unsuccessful attempts to send the samples, Dr. Tufton said the ministry is now trying to send them on a cargo flight but the process is more tedious.

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