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Jamaica: Slow Out The Blocks – Gov’t Fast-Tracks Accreditation As Some Private Labs Yet To Start COVID Antigen Testing

The Holness administration is seeking to expedite accreditation of coronavirus testing sites amid the mushrooming of informal operators and the slow start by approved private labs.

At least four of the eight private laboratories that have been approved by the Government to conduct antigen testing for COVID-19 are yet to start, while one laboratory indicated that it is offering the test to only those preparing to travel.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness issued a list of approved laboratories on January 6, 2021, following increasing demand from some of Jamaica’s international partners that travellers provide a negative COVID-19 result on entry.

Based on checks by The Gleaner on Thursday, front-office staff at Andrews Memorial Hospital Lab, Central Medical Lab, and SureTime Emergency Medical Services are not offering the services currently. Meanwhile, Technological Solutions Limited said it was only offering the gold-standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test now.

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