by Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Even after the purchasing of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine for Nevis more than a month ago, COVID-19 tests are still not being done on the island but Federal Health Minister Akilah Byron-Nisbett says that will soon be no more.
Speaking in parliament on Thursday, the federation’s Health Minister said efforts are being made to get the PCR machine online at the island’s hospital.
“The Alexandra Hospital is working on getting a PCR machine online. And once that is online, we will certainly see an increase in the capacity for our COVID-19 tests and it will allow for Nevis to be able to take care of their own samples,” Byron-Nisbett said.
According to an article by the NIA’s Department of Information dated August 27, 2021, the Nevis Island Administration secured a PCR machine that will allow for COVID-19 testing to be carried out at the Alexandra Hospital laboratory on Nevis.
Premier of Nevis Mark Brantley who also serves as the island’s Senior Minister of Health announced at his August 26, 2021 press conference that the equipment had arrived on island through the generous donation of the Drahi Foundation based in Switzerland.
He said “we on Nevis have realized that we’ve had some delays. Sometimes we have difficulty because all of the testing had to go over to our sister island of St. Kitts, and so getting our own equipment at our own lab at the Alexandra Hospital means that we will now be able to provide more rapid results for our people and to continue to test as many people as possible.”
The island of Nevis was in March 2021 afforded a grant from the Government of Japan to acquire an additional PCR machine so that testing for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases could be done at the hospital.