Covid-19 Testing Equipment, Drugs To arrive – no new cases

Kingstown (One News St. Vincent) – St. Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded no new cases of the Coronavirus. This, is according to results received from the Public Health Lab at the Caribbean Public Health Agency – CARPHA in Trinidad.

In a release issued on Thursday, the Ministry of Health said “To date 31 persons have been tested for COVID-19, with 34 swabs being done. Results from 30 persons have been received , with 1 positive result, which of our index case on March 11, 2020”.

“One result remains outstanding” – the release further stated.

The news comes as Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Wednesday in a national address that “the equipment, materials and supplies for testing Covid-19 have been ordered and are due to arrive in St. Vincent and the Grenadines shortly”.

“Other materials and supplies to combat Covid-19 have also been ordered and are also due to arrive soonest. Until in-country testing becomes available, testing is being done at CARPHA, the CARPHA labs in Trinidad or in Barbados, courtesy of that country’s government”, Gonsalves said.

COVID-19 Treatment Interferon

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Wednesday the government has purchased the antiviral drug – Interferon from Cuba to satisfy the treatment cycles for 50 patients.

“The OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service has also ordered additional supplies of this drug for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The dosages of Interferon will arrive in a few days time. The OECS has ordered more for us at our request” – Dr. Gonsalves said.

“Cuban Interferon Alpha 2b has proven effective for viruses with characteristics similar to those of COVID-19” – Jamaica Observer said in a March 22nd article.

“Cuban biotech specialist, Dr Luis Herrera Martinez, explained that “its use prevents aggravation and complications in patients reaching that stage that ultimately can result in death”” – the article stated.

“Cuba first developed and used interferons to arrest a deadly outbreak of the dengue virus in 1981, and the experience catalysed the development of the island’s now world-leading biotech industry” – the article further stated.

With only one confirmed case, St. Vincent’s borders have remained open. Cuban medical workers arrived Thursday night to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

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