COVID-19 testing kits for Jamaica blocked by US—Tufton

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton has disclosed that test kit supplies for COVID-19 to Jamaica from the United States were blocked in that jurisdiction.

He said that the government is now awaiting supplies from other sources.

However, the minister assured that adequate supplies of testing material are in the island at this time.

Tufton was addressing the issue of testing at Wednesday’s meeting of the House of Representatives at Gordon House.

The minister said that the government has had to “re-calibrate” its strategy and that over the coming days 20,000 kits/material for testing will arrive in the island.

Meanwhile, Tufton has defended the pace at which testing has been carried out for COVID-19 and the methodology used by the government.

Responding to concerns from MPs, Tufton said health authorities are confident in the testing mechanism that has been used so far. “The methodology has served us well,” he said.

He said the Government is not minimising the importance of testing but feels it has managed the process well so far, by focusing on vulnerable groups guided by the health authorities and the research “rather than engaging in panic approach”.