Dominica to receive lab diagnosis of new coronavirus

February 13, 2020 - 260 views

Dominica is among eight Caribbean countries to prepare for laboratory diagnosis of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Virology experts from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) have traveled to the Caribbean region to ensure that laboratory specialists are trained and equipped to identify and respond to potential imported cases of the new coronavirus.

Training in the Caribbean began in Suriname, followed by Barbados and Haiti, and will continue later this week in Jamaica, Belize, and here in Dominica. 

Next week PAHO said experts will travel to the Bahamas and Guyana to complete this initiative in the sub-region.

In addition to this, on February 10 PAHO said the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago informed that its laboratory is ready to respond to the new coronavirus.

“As one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, the Caribbean must prepare to detect and respond quickly to imported cases of COVID-19,” said Yitades Gebre, PAHO's representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean countries.

“Providing countries with the reagents and knowledge needed to perform early diagnosis is key for outbreak response and protecting our populations.”

During the training, laboratories, which include both National Influenza Centers and Flu national labs, are provided with the diagnostic materials required to test for the dreaded virus. 

This includes primers, probes, and positive controls. 

Participants are then trained in the main tests and protocols available and carry out a practical exercise of molecular detection.