Prime Minister Andrew Holness has stated that the government is equipping the public health system to manage the Covid-19 pandemic and future emergencies.
He was delivering the keynote address at the handover of a Genome Sequencing machine at the National Influenza Centre at the University Hospital of the West Indies, on Friday.
Mr. Holness said that the resources being provided are increasing the country’s capacity to respond to emerging health challenges.
The equipment is valued at $40 million and was purchased by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) fund.
It will facilitate testing for new Covid-19 variants, in Jamaica.
Currently, samples taken in Jamaica, have to be sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr Holness noted that, while mutations are commonplace in how viruses spread, the data from genomic sequencing can provide information on which variants are the main drivers.
This, in turn, will help determine relevant measures that should be implemented.