Samoa gets 2,000 COVID-19 test kits

The United Nations Development Programme (U.N.D.P.) has presented 2,000 coronavirus (COVID-19) test kits and equipment to the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (S.R.O.S.).

The presentation by the U.N.D.P. to the Samoa Government’s research arm was done on Friday and included equipment to be used for COVID-19 testing. 

The value of the equipment is US$293,000 (T$795,451) and will be a boost to facilitating in-country testing for COVID-19 and has the capacity to test as many people who may need to be tested. 

Together with the 2,000 test kits is a Real Time-quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR) equipment which has the ability to test for COVID-19 and other invasive pathogens.

According to a statement released by the UNDP, Minister of the S.R.O.S. Lopaoo Natanielu Mu’a described the donation as a significant acquisition for the Government of Samoa.

“[It is] because we did not have the capacity to test for COVID-19 before,” he said.

He added that the equipment will continue to help the Government keep Samoa COVID-free.

The arrival of the COVID-19 testing equipment will provide much needed support given the challenges of supplies entering the country with reduced frequency of flights into Samoa.

The U.N.D.P. Resident Representative, Jorn Sorensen, said that the U.N.D.P. is pleased to support the Government of Samoa.

“The Scientific Research Organization of Samoa and its forthcoming testing will be critical in the Government’s plan to proceed with repatriating Samoan citizens,” he added. 

U.N.I.C.E.F. Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett, said access to proper testing is critical to keeping children and their families safe during the global pandemic.

“U.N.I.C.E.F. is pleased to support efforts by the Government of Samoa to increase the country’s testing capacity.” 

The equipment will increase Samoa’s testing capability thereby directly enabling the Government to safely repatriate Samoans stranded abroad.

This is part of U.N.D.P. and U.N.I.C.E.F. health system support to the Government of Samoa, which also includes COVID-19 related assistance in other areas, including child protection, psychosocial support to families and children, and communicating with communities on how to prevent the coronavirus.   

U.N.D.P. partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. The U.N.D.P. Multi-Country Office in Samoa provides country and regional support to four countries in the Pacific, as part of the 177-country office U.N.D.P. network, and offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

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