St. Lucia almost test-ready for COVID-19, PM says

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet on Saturday revealed that the country would soon be in receipt of equipment that will allow it to test for COVID-19, better known as the novel coronavirus.

Currently, all testing for COVID-19 is done at CARPHA which is the regional reference laboratory for the Caribbean. Specimens from suspected cases are transported to the Ezra Long laboratory at the Victoria Hospital and are later transported to CARPHA.

According to Chastanet, the equipment was ordered by the Ministry of Health & Wellness last week and has been shipped.

“Cognizant of the international spread of COVID-19, last week the Ministry of Health and Wellness sourced equipment to facilitate COVID-19 testing on island,” said Chastanet.

The equipment has already been shipped and is expected to enhance the management of cases through timely diagnosis.

The PM also used the opportunity to share that the government has stepped up its efforts to guard against the virus, noting that more health care providers will be placed at the ports of entry to help enforce protocols.

“This will assist in enforcing the relevant regulations and protocols and ensure the health of the Saint Lucian public,” said Chastanet.