Jamaica’s COVID-19 testing burden to be eased by Miami lab

A local task force is currently in talks with a Miami-based laboratory to conduct large scale COVID-19 testing amid challenges in Jamaica’s health sector. 

According to task force member and president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Clifton Reader, the laboratory has the capacity to conduct more than 20,000 PCR tests on a weekly basis. 

Reader explained the lab not only has the capacity to deal with large volumes, but is also ideally situated minutes from the airport.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett

The special task force, named by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, on Wednesday (January 13), will spearhead efforts to boost Jamaica’s testing capacity in light of growing demand.

“This task force will work along with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and tourism stakeholders, both within the public and private sectors, to boost Jamaica’s capacity to facilitate wide scale COVID-19 testing for visitors to the island. We will also undertake extensive consultation with our local and international tourism partners to develop and introduce innovative solutions to effectively address this challenge,” Bartlett said.

Other members of the taskforce include: First vice-president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Nicola Madden-Greig; chairman of the Tourism Product Development Company, Ian Dear; deputy chairman of the Sandals Group and chairman of the Tourism Linkages Network Council, Adam Stewart; executive director of Chukka Caribbean Adventures and Chairman of the COVID-19 resilient corridor management team, John Byles.