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Jamaica: Private Labs Courted As COVID Backlog Deadline Missed

Fighting to regain its footing from a backlog of thousands of COVID-19 test samples, the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) says it is courting five private laboratories to help slash delays in garnering coronavirus results.

The public-private partnership talks come amid the ministry’s admission that it will miss its July 31 deadline to clear the backlog of 10,000 test samples. That number has been reduced to just over 3,000 up to Thursday evening.

“Over the next two weeks, we will clear the backlog. However, current samples will now be tested within the usual 24-48 hours while the backlog testing continues,” Dr Michelle Hamilton, director of services at the National Public Health Laboratory, said.

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