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The CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML) has remained open and continues to receive and test samples for suspected COVID-19 and variant identification via genome sequencing for its Member States.

In a statement issued yesterday CARPHA Executive Director, Dr Joy St John stated the decision was made to keep the lab open because of the critical state countries are in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the regional reference laboratory, and especially during this critical phase of the pandemic, where several variants, have been detected in the Region, our CARPHA laboratory has not closed its doors and remains open.”

It added, “CARPHA has reported the detection of Omicron to Member States during the holiday period. Our dedicated staff continues to provide technical support, advice and the highest quality of service to help inform decision makers in its Member States.”

The CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory, according to the statement, has also consistently provided weekly updates on its COVID-19 laboratory response.

The latest COVID-19 Laboratory Dashboard No 66 for the Epidemiological Week 51 released by CARPHA on Tuesday, December 28, reflected testing carried out by the agency during the period Sunday, December 19 to Saturday, December 25.