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Feb 17, 2021

What’s the Delay in Variants’ Tests?

Melissa Diaz-Musa

It’s been just about a month since two hundred plus samples were sent to Baylor College in the U.S. and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to determine if any of the new variants of COVID-19 has made its way into Belize. As we know, the UK variant has been detected in neighbouring Mexico.  So what is the delay in the results? Doctor Melisa Diaz-Musa explains what has happened.


Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Director of Health Services, M.O.H.W.

“We did reach out to them over two weeks ago and they graciously accepted and they do have over two hundred of our positive swabs. And we’ve been in communication with Baylor, but it’s not as easy as we think in terms of in the United States recently as well, they have been overwhelmed, their system. So our swabs are there. And CARPHA had also sent a letter allocating ten samples for Belize so we have sent ten swabs to CARPHA, however, CARPHA has ran into some problems as well and currently they are not able to do the genotype infer for any of our Caribbean countries. I think they made the discovery in Trinidad and Tobago of the variant strain and after that they’ve come into some issues; I am not certainly exactly what it is. I believe with regards to reagents or something used for the lab. And for that reason that is also on hold.”


The Ministry of Health and Wellness has reached out to CDC Mexico and Guatemala to see if they too can do testing to determine if any of the variants are in Belize.

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