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No PCR test kits at Grenada’s airport delays passengers

Passengers arriving at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) Wednesday were subjected to hours of waiting because health officials did not have enough COVID-19 PCR test kits.

Passengers on at least two international flights from the UK and the US had their entry process halted with an announcement by health officials that there were no more kits available at the airport.

Passengers were offered an apology and informed that attempts were being made to source PCR kits from the nearby St George’s University (SGU).

Some passengers who arrived at around 4.00 p.m. were not able to leave the airport until past 6.00 p.m.

Senator Rolanda Mc Queen was among returning passengers who arrived on the British Airways flight Wednesday afternoon and told THE NEW TODAY that she was among the last five people that health officials were able to swab before the process was halted.

Sen. Mc Queen said she spoke with health workers at the airport and was informed that they had been waiting since the day before for test kits which were expected to arrive on a Cargo flight.

Phone calls to the acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Shawn Charles and Minister for Health, Nickolas Steele who is said to be off island, went unanswered.

While making inquiries, THE NEW TODAY was told that 1,000 kits had been received for use at the airport and another line of inquiry said Grenada had 40,000 test kits on hand.

However, the incident at MBIA on Wednesday seems to contradict this information.

After further inquiries on Thursday, THE NEW TODAY also received information that the Ministry of Health has test kits stored at the SGU campus.

Sen. Mc Queen said she also inquired of Health workers at the airport about whether they were aware of the number of expected arrivals and they responded that they did.

Each arriving flight has an accompanying passenger manifest and pre-bookings required to enter Grenada also provides data beforehand of how many passengers would be coming through the airport.

If indeed test kits were available on the island the chaos at the airport on Wednesday points to a major breakdown in management.

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