The CARPHA Medical Microbiology Laboratory (CMML) continues to receive and test samples for suspected COVID-19 cases from its Member States (MS). The CMML also maintains its reporting protocol to designated national referral laboratories.
Since December 2020, CARPHA has been working with the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine on genome sequencing for MS. Countries have been requested to send an allocation of ten samples per month which meet the requirements for sequencing.
To date CARPHA has detected cases of the UK variant in several Member States. While no cases of the Brazil or South Africa variant have been detected in the Region, U.S. variants of concern and a variant similar to the Brazil variant have been detected.
CARPHA urges Member States to remain vigilant and continue to enhance their surveillance capacity to screen, identity, test, quarantine, isolate and trace contacts of new cases supported by public health prevention and control measures.
During this critical phase of the pandemic and beyond, CARPHA will provide technical support, advice and the highest quality service to help inform decision-makers in its Member States.