Jamaica is boosting its COVID-19 testing capacity with laboratory staff now being trained to use the island’s recently acquired genome sequencing machine.
The Health Ministry says this will bolster the country’s ability to analyze samples of the SARS-CoV-2 virus locally and to determine the presence of variant strains within the population.
Six medical personnel have completed four days of a two-fold training in laboratory work and data analysis, facilitated by international trainers from Illumunia, manufacturers of the genome sequencer.
The Ministry says the seven-day training signals another phase in commissioning the machine for use and will result in speedier testing for COVID-19 variants.
Speaking at last evening’s COVID Conversation, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton noted that more staff will be taught how to use the machine.
Minister Tufton further revealed that testing is underway with the first batch of samples.