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  • According to Carpha's doctor and executive director, Joy St. John, the agency has the capacity and equipment in its laboratories to investigate and manage contagious diseases.

    According to Carpha's doctor and executive director, Joy St. John, the agency has the capacity and equipment in its laboratories to investigate and manage contagious diseases. | Photo: World Health Organization

Published 14 February 2020

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (Carpha) received accreditation from the World Health Organization (WHO) to analyze coronavirus samples.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (Carpha) said Friday that the Caribbean Community (Caricom) is ready and fully equipped to receive and analyze samples of suspected cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) with immediate effect.

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According to Carpha's doctor and executive director, Joy St. John, the agency has the capacity and equipment in its laboratories to investigate and manage contagious diseases, and in case of an outbreak in the region, the member states of Caricom have specific protocols, which include sending samples to these laboratories.

For his part, the doctor and head of the Reference Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML), Gabriel González-Escobar, explained that Carpha will not accept samples sent directly by the public, since it will only analyze those from the reference laboratories in the Member States.

"The results of all the samples analyzed in the CMML will be sent electronically to the national medical reference laboratories, which will then be disseminated to the health care provider," González said.

Since the first cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) were recorded in China, world leaders have advocated for scientific, political and financial solidarity to prevent the spread of viral disease.

"We need to unite to fight against a common enemy that does not respect borders, make sure we have the necessary resources to end this outbreak and put our best science at the forefront to find shared answers to shared problems," WHO's Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said recently in Geneva.

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