COVID-19 testing is now being done locally.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram made the revelation while speaking at the COVID-19 news conference this morning.

Since the start of the spread of the virus, this country, as well as other CARICOM nations, have been solely dependent on the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

On March 23, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh announced that there is a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex.

At that time he said:

“It is going to be validated by CARPHA in the next couple of days and hopefully by the end of the week, that machine at Eric Williams will also be available to supplement what is being done at CARPHA.”

On April 7, the minister had indicated that there was a delay in the commencement of testing at the Mt Hope facility due to a lack of extraction kits.

However, this morning, CMO Parasram said the “facility is ready and willing to test”.

He said a panel from CARPHA was formed to assess the testing capabilities.

Dr Parasram also confirmed that following clearance from that panel, the facility started to receive samples for testing.