Virus test soon

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TESTING for the deadly coronavirus could begin in Barbados this week.

That was the word last night from Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic, as the death toll from the virus in China, where it was first reported last December 31, reached 811 yesterday, with 37 198 confirmed cases. It has spread to 27 countries and territories, infecting more than 330.

Bostic was speaking to the media at the end of a public information session on the deadly virus, held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. He said the testing kits, which had been mentioned by acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George during the session, would be facilitated through the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).

“We have a state-of-the-art public health laboratory here, the Best-Dos Santos [Public Health] Lab that has the capacity to do testing once we have the kits,” he said.

George, in his closing remarks, had said the kits were on their way.

“Barbados has taken an unprecedented step to try to have testing here in short order. And therefore, the Minister of Health and Wellness has been working closely with the Pan American Health Organization to have that facility in Barbados. The kits are coming shortly and after a quick verification and training of staff, Barbados should be able to test shortly,” George said. (RA)

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