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Government of Brazil donates 6000 RT-PCR COVID-19 Tests to the OECS

Government of Brazil donates 6000 RT-PCR COVID-19 Tests to the OECS

OECS Media Release

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) continues to support Member States in the fight against COVID-19. On Wednesday December 16, the OECS received a donation of 6000 RT-PCR test kits, the gold standard in COVID-19 detection, with funds from the Government of Brazil.

When COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, the OECS embarked on a rigorous response to mitigate its effects on Member States. This response included renewed partnerships with development agencies, a new partnership with the private sector and support from bi-lateral friends. 

The Government of Brazil donated USD $100,000 to the OECS in support of their response to obtain testing supplies. 8000  swabs/sample kits have already been distributed to the nine participating Member States of the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Services (PPS). The procurement and delivery of the 6000 PCR test kits took a bit longer than planned, nevertheless, 5000 of them arrived in Saint Lucia at the right time while the remaining 1000 are en route. These test kits need to be kept at very cold temperatures, at all times.

2000 PCR test kits will be donated to Saint Lucia, while another 2000 have been earmarked for Grenada given the recent cluster of COVID-19 cases. The remaining test kits will be kept in storage to assist Member States that may need them in future. 

Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil to Saint Lucia and the OECS,  His Excellency Anuar Nahes, said this initial donation is just the beginning of Brazil’s willingness to assist the OECS region. “The Brazil Cooperation Agency has asked me to convey to you that they are ready to do more. With the exception of vaccinations, they are ready to share much-needed supplies with the OECS and its Member States.”

Dr. Carlene Radix, Health of the Human and Social Cluster received the donation on behalf of the OECS, noting that these tests will help augment Member States’ capacity and response to the in-country testing needs.  She said,

”The 6000 test kits from this initial donation by Brazil will go a very long way in terms of increasing the capacity of testing for our Member States, especially those who are experiencing clusters of cases, because now the in-country laboratories have scaled up their operations to be able to meet the testing demands.”

This donation is another example of the benefits to be derived from the OECS Economic Union. Ambassador Nahes and Dr. Radix handed over Saint Lucia’s allocation to the country’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George who thanked the OECS for its response to the needs of its Member States.

“We are so very thankful for the support at this difficult time.”

 

Editor’s Note

To date, the OECS Member States have received through its Pooled Procurement Service (OECS PPS) XCD 2.16 million dollars worth of supplies and equipment in direct response to COVID-19, inclusive of PPE, PCR test kits, viral swabs, ventilators and ICU kits. The test kits donated by the Government of Brazil were purchased through existing UN procurement mechanisms in collaboration with the World Food Programme and PAHO. The OECS continues to partner with governments, private sector, regional and international organisations in the ongoing COVID-19 response.

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Alisha Ally Communications Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Alisha Ally Communications Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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