NIA awaits greenlight from PAHO to start PCR testing in Nevis: Mark Brantley

The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is on the way to offering PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing on the island.

NIA awaits greenlight from PAHO to start PCR testing in Nevis: Mark Brantley

The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is on the way to offering PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing on the island.

At the same time, several nations across the globe are using PCR testing to check people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that provokes COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Senior Minister of Health in the NIA, Premier Mark Brantley, has given an update on the process on Thursday, January 25, while addressing his first monthly press conference for 2022.

“The last update that I’ve made publically was that we have almost tried everything. We have done trying testing, the training has been done, and apparently, they have to go through a process of doing some sampling. The sampling has been done, and we have already passed it to PAHO (Pan American Health Organization). We are simply now waiting on PAHO and we are hoping any minute now to get the green light to go ahead to do the PCR testing at the Alexander Hospital.

“We hope that when that happens, it will be a quantum leap ahead for the island.”

The NIA earlier announced back in August 2021 that it had obtained a QuantStudio 5 PCR Machine from the kind donation of the Switzerland-based Drahi Foundation. The second piece of equipment, which is a GeneXpert PCR machine, was obtained in the fourth quarter of 2021 via diplomatic efforts with the Japanese government authorities.

Premier Mark Brantley further felt sorry for the delay in bringing the equipment to the stream.

He added, “let me apologize as the Premier and Senior Minister of Health that it took so long. It was supposed to have happened, but we had some unforeseen mishaps in trying to get this process on the path. All that was required to get done has already been done now, and we are expecting to get the green light very soon. At this point, it means we have no longer have to send samples to St Kitt’s to get them tested, and we would release the burden of the lab authorities and hospitals in St Kitts for their help in testing.”

He further added that there had been some setbacks, but he is satisfied that the NIA is now committing to making PCR testing available on the Nevis.

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