The Health Ministry will again be engaging with the private sector to expand the number of testing labs for COVID-19 PCR and Antigen tests, this is according to Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton.

This effort will be in partnership with the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) in the Ministry of Industry Investment and Commerce as well as the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ).

The Minister made the disclosure during Parliament on Tuesday, November 9. Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton says the first step in expanding COVID-19 testing labs is the validation of test kits that are to be used in the country. He says already the Ministry has expanded the possible Antigen and PCR kits that can be validated for use.

Dr. Tufton says it is now the responsibility of importers to apply to the standards and regulation division of the Health Ministry to have the kits validated and approved for importation.

The Health Minister notes that these steps are for the approval of the kits only. He says the approval and authorization process of labs to use these kits will be facilitated by the existing process outlined through the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation ( JANAAC ).

Meanwhile, Dr. Tufton says there have been some queries regarding COVID-19 antigen self-tests. 

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