Health Ministry Awaiting Thousands Of Antigen Test Kits

The Minister of Health, Dr. Christopher Tufton says the Government is still awaiting some 80,000 antigen test kits. The Minister says the tests were ordered through the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) for delivery in October.

He added that by the end of October it should become clearer as to when antigen testing will begin.

The Minister was speaking during the Ministry’s weekly COVID Conversations digital press conference on Thursday, October 15.

“[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 is being facilitated through a collaboration involving the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and the United Nations.

Antigen testing is said to be a faster, simpler and a more cost effective method for detecting COVID-19.

Full implementation of the procedure will involve all hospitals, major health centres and private sector laboratories, including those in privately-operated medical facilities.

To add, 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.

Additionally, the Government has commenced training for health workers in the administration of the antigen test. The testing is to be utilized to detect novel coronavirus COVID-19 infections.

Minister Tufton, advised that the first training session was held last week. He added that another session is slated to be held shortly. He says this session will also focus on protocols for personnel designated to administer the test, among other procedures.