Testing Kits Approved Internationally, Not Expired – Health Minister Says

By Demion McTair Updated 12:27 p.m., Saturday, 11 April 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4)

Kingstown, St. Vincent (ON SVG) – St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Health Minister, Senator Luke Browne has sought to provide clarification over discussions on social media surrounding the packaging of boxes in which testing equipment came from Venezuela yesterday.

Some 3,000 rapid-testing kits, along with other supplies are said to have been delivered yesterday, via a charter flight.

One of the images circulating on social media which was the center of discussion.

But, some persons on social media today, expressed concern over what appeared to be an expiry date on a box which the Prime Minister was photographed carrying and the words “Blood Glucose Test Strip”.

Senator Browne said on facebook: “I have seen some public discussion about the testing supplies we received courtesy the kind generosity of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela yesterday. I would like to provide some clarification”.

One of the smaller boxes with the Covid-19 test strips which was inside the larger brown box with the alleged expiry date.

“The issue surrounds the fact that the kits were placed for packaging and transportation purposes in a box marked “Blood Glucose Testing Strip” showing an expiry date of 2018/3. This was only for packaging. The actual boxes containing the kits were inside the outer box and are shown below. One of the pictures shows the manufacture and expiry date to be: 20/3/20 (manufacture) and 29/3/21 (expiry)” – he added.

The health minister further stated that “the kits have been approved by internationally recognised regulatory agencies. They are listed by the John Hopkins Centre for Health Security as appropriate for use in the detection of COVID-19. They were produced by a top diagnostic company in China called Biotech Co. Ltd.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Venezuela for coming to our assistance with these quality products. Let us receive the supplies with a heart of gratitude. Thank you”.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines hopes to conduct its own Covid-19 testing soon.

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