The Federal Ministry of Health is in receipt of additional philanthropic donations in response to the national fight against COVID-19 which is already present in our Country. These recent donations are as follows:
1) St. Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation: Dr Andy Redmond and Mr Alexis Nisbett made a donation of an antibody-based, Rapid Test Kit that can process a total of 250 samples.
2) Mrs Ying Jin of Galaxy Caribbean Real Estate.: made a private donation of US$20,000 meant to cover the purchase of a turbine-driven ventilator for the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the JN France General Hospital.
3) Rotary Club of St. Kitts: made a pledge of EC$10,500 to cover the cost of 50 tests to be done at Next Generation Laboratory. These funds are intended to cover testing only for persons who genuinely cannot afford the cost of their tests.
In addition to these donations listed above, the Ministry of Health also wishes to note the following:
(a) in a prior release it was announced that a donation for EC$21,000 was made to cover the cost of 100 tests to be done by Next Generation Laboratory for persons who genuinely cannot afford the cost of their tests. This donation was made jointly by Mr Charles Wilkin Q.C. and Mr Kenneth Kelly.
(b) a small donation of 19 sachets/test strips that were handed to the Chief Medical Officer on March 26, 2020 by Dr Terrance Drew. There was very little explanation provided by Dr Drew on his gift, other than to state that the test strips were “certified by CE”. In the interest of full disclosure the Ministry wishes to inform the public that the test strips and the container in which they were presented are all written in Mandarin (Chinese) with a carton label that reads “Guanzhou Wondfo Biotech Co., Ltd”. The Ministry would have to verify the efficacy of these test strips before a decision is made regarding their use among our people – especially given the well-documented media reports about faulty test kits from China being rejected by a number of European countries in particular. Moreover, even if test kits of this nature are used, the Ministry of Health will still – as a rule – refrain from declaring confirmed cases of COVID-19 until specimens are tested and verified by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).
The Ministry of Health is indeed grateful for all of the contributions made to our national efforts in response to the formidable COVID-19 challenges. The Ministry welcomes contributions from other likeminded business entities and private citizens: their social responsibility and generosity would be greatly appreciated. Should you be interested in donating but are uncertain as to what to offer, please call the COVID-19 Hotline 311 and speak to a representative, or send an email using the official St. Kitts-Nevis COVID-19 website: www.covid19.gov.kn and someone will respond to you.
The Ministry of Health reiterates the fact that how St. Kitts and Nevis emerges from this unprecedented global crisis will be determined, to a considerable extent, by the individual, corporate and collective efforts and sacrifice being made by and on behalf of the people of our Country. The Ministry also notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to bring out the best in every citizen and resident of St. Kitts and Nevis, and there is no better time than now to let that light shine brightly.