Samoa receives first coronavirus testing equipment
Samoa will now be able to test for the coronavirus, following the arrival of World Health Organisation (W.H.O) laboratory testing equipment provided by Australian and New Zealand donors.
Additional assistance and funding are being provided by the Pacific Community (SPC), the Pacific Island Health Officers’ Association and the United Nation’s cultural and education organisation U.N.I.C.E.F.
Samoa and other Pacific Island will now be able to accurately and quickly test for the virus.
A press statement received late on Friday described Samoa as receiving an unspecified “small” amount of testing equipment. Further batches of testing equipment are promised to arrive in the coming weeks.
A spokeswoman for the Australian High Commission did not respond to a request for comment about how many testing kits would arrive.
The machines can be used to test for the coronavirus within an hour.
The national hospital has had two vGeneXpert machines imported since December.
“[The World Health Organisation] has been able to secure prioritised access to GeneXpert tests for the whole of the Pacific with financial contributions from development partners – who are working together as member organisations of the Pacific Joint Incident Management Team” said Dr. Rasul Baghirov, the W.H.O. Representative to Samoa.
“The choice of GeneXpert testing kits is a practical and appropriate one because the GeneXpert machines are already available locally and COVID-19 testing can commence almost immediately”.
Australia and New Zealand have each contributed AUD 1 million and NZD 1 million respectively to the W.H.O. to procure the testing equipment, according to the testing equipment.
Earlier this month the United Kingdom significantly lifted its testing capacity to carry out more than 100,000 tests per day.