Dr. Christopher Tufton
The Ministry of Health has now accredited two private laboratories to offer COVID-19 tests.
They are Carigen Lab and Microlabs.
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton made the disclosure Thursday evening during a digital media briefing, revealing that Carigen, based at the University Hospital of the West Indies, will be working with Microlabs, which has a distribution network across the country.
"(The) combined private sector entities are now able, for a cost or for a fee, to offer the PCR test for COVID with the sanctioning of the Ministry of Health and Wellness; and that was achieved this week," Dr. Tufton said.
The health minister noted that the labs will have to submit reports on the cases of COVID-19 identified, explaining that "from a public health standpoint, we need to know how many people are positive in the country, how many tests are done, how many are negative." He said this is "critical for public health planning and for decision-making at the highest possible level, including the level of Cabinet and the government."
Dr. Tufton said another company has been approved to carryout testing for COVID-19 on surfaces.
"The ministry has also approved Technology Solutions Limited to do environmental testing, and what this means, if I'm understanding it correctly, is that this entity...is able to go into your company, or your home or wherever else in a public space, and they can test surfaces to determine if the virus exists on those surfaces," he disclosed.