The British Virgin Islands and other member states of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is set to benefit from a combined US$8.6 million grant from the European Union (EU), which is geared towards combating COVID-19 in the region.
This is according to an April 16 media release from the EU, which said the grant will be implemented by CARPHA – the single regional public health agency for the Caribbean – and is expected to improve surveillance, detection, control and response measures to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The funds will be used to purchase COVID-19 test kits, masks and other personal protective equipment, testing reagents, and other materials required for testing,” the release stated.
It continued: “It will also increase the capacity of regional countries to carry out laboratory testing for COVID-19, support coronavirus quarantine and isolation procedures, as well as contact tracing.”
Funds to finance COVID-19 treatment and vaccines
The EU further said that the funds are geared towards financing COVID-19 treatments and vaccines when they become available.
To efficiently deal with the expected surge in demand for future testing, the EU said the funds will allow CARPHA to employ two additional laboratory technologists, and support the maintenance of new and existing laboratory equipment.
Funds to improve various policies
The grant will also increase the capacity of CARPHA and its member states in a number of other areas.
These include the improvement of public education and behaviour change programmes on communicable diseases, and strengthening CARPHA’s ability to better respond to public health emergencies throughout the region.
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