Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds said not all positive tests can be tested for the presence of the Brazilian variant of covid19, owing to a lack of capacity at UWI, where genetic sequencing takes place.
Speaking at the Health Ministry’s virtual media conference on Monday, he said random samples comprising a small proportion of positive tests are sent for sequencing. He said there are talks between UWI and Public Health England on increasing capacity.
Hinds said as the four cases detected thus far are not connected, people should continue to be cautious and follow the public health regulations.
He said he could not say the variant was spreading through the population, but based on epidemiological trends, once it was introduced into the population, it would continue to establish itself as one of the strains present in the country.