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COVID-19 testing to be ramped up after Health Ministry signs MOU with Belize Agricultural Health Authority

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Posted: Tuesday, December 1, 2020. 8:03 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: COVID-19 testing using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platform is to be ramped up after a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on Tuesday between the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). 

The prelude to this MOU was a statement made in a press briefing last week by Michel Chebat, new Minister of Health and Wellness, announcing that his Ministry would take up the offer from BAHA to assist in doing PCR testing in Belize. The decision to partner with BAHA is also part of the new COVID-19 strategy to scale scaling up of the national response to COVID-19 and narrow the time between when samples are taken and results obtained.

According to a release from the Government of Belize, the MOU specifically seeks to enhance and support the diagnostic capacity of the Central Medical Laboratory in terms of delivering PCR testing and more efficient results for COVID-19.

Since BAHA has laboratory personnel that already has some training in various testing procedures, both parties agreed to have open communication and for BAHA personnel to be trained in PCR testing per MOHW’s existing protocols.

The release notes that the parties also “agreed to establish a joint work program in support of PCR testing at both facilities and to further enhance cross-sectional learning experiences for both entities”.

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