Figure 1: Lab technician testing a blood sample for Covid-19 using a Cepheid GeneXpert machine

In the continued fight against the COVID-19 pandemic the Ministry of Health (MoH), in collaboration with UNDP Trinidad and Tobago, acquired five thousand and fifty (5050) Cepheid SARS-COV-2 tests. These Cepheid tests, which were procured through the Primary Healthcare Initiative Phase II project, will be used to boost the level of COVID-19 testing throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

Increased testing in Trinidad and Tobago is necessary to quickly identify possible spread of the Coronavirus in communities. The Cepheid tests takes less than one (1) hour. With this short turn-around time patients can get their results much faster and the Ministry is able to conduct more tests per day.  This would allow the Ministry to focus limited resources where necessary and to implement procedures to contain any possible outbreak. Cepheid testing machines are located at the University of the West Indies Laboratory, the Trinidad Public Health Laboratory and in Tobago.

Additional personal protection equipment (PPE) in the form of N95 and IIR surgical masks have also been secured by UNDP on behalf of the Ministry. The eight thousand one hundred and sixty (8,160) N95 masks and two hundred thousand (200,000) IIR surgical masks would be used to protect medical staff at the various RHAs who are on the frontlines combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.

UNDP is pleased to assist the Ministry in its COVID-19 emergency response efforts and wishes to re-affirm its commitment to the combatting of this pandemic in Trinidad and Tobago.

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