(PRESS RELEASE) – Local medical internist, Dr Terrance Drew said he is not daunted by the rejection of his donation of 2,500, coronavirus test kits to the Govermment of St Kitts and Nevis.
Dr Drew presented the first box of 19 test kits to Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hazel Laws on March 26th. The full shipment of the test kits is expected to arrive in St Kitts this week.
Wondfo is one of the earliest high-tech companies on rapid diagnostics in China and their anti-body test kits for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.
During the daily COVID-19- briefing on Saturday, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health, Sen the Hon Wendy Phipps announced that the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government and Senior Health Minister Hon Eugene Hamilton had rejected the donation.
“We would have received a small donation from Dr Terrance Drew in the amount of 19 test kits. Unfortunately the Ministry of Health cannot act on that donation because these test kits are written in Mandarin Chinese. The box is also in Chinese. We have no way of verifying the efficacy of the test that can be done. So for the time being we have basically shelved the donation. We acknowledge it nevertheless,” Phipps told the media.
Dr Drew said on Saturday night that the rejection of the donation on the grounds that the kits are labelled in Mandarin Chinese is unacceptable.
He said translation into English could not be a problem as there are the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and scores of local students who have studied in Taiwan and are fluent in Mandarin.
“These persons can easily translate for us. There are within the government senior officials who speak mandarin and can do the translation within minutes,” said Dr Drew in a live FaceBook video statement on Saturday night that drew thousands of viewers.
“We need to use all of the available resources and all the help that we can get, even of it comes from the opposition and use it to really help the people of St Kitts and Nevis. How saying that this is in Mandarin and Chinese and not really using the coronavirus kits for the people of St Kitts and Nevis to their benefit is really going to help the people of St Kitts and Nevis. Dr Drew suggested that the government should seriously look at the kits and get the information officially translated with the assistance of the Embassy of China (Taiwan) through the St Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He showed viewers what the coronavirus test kits look like.
“The kits are similar to a simple pregnancy test,” said Dr. Drew, who for the past several weeks has been advocating testing in the fight against the presence of the coronavirus.
“We are already behind and we need to start test, testing, testing,” he said.
There has been 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases confirmed since the first case was announced on March 25, 2020.
Dr Drew pointed out that while the United States is accepting ventilators from China, the Government of St Kitts and Nevis is rejecting coronavirus testing kits from China on the ground that the language on the labelling is Mandarin Chinese