An image sourced from www.dicardiology.com-- used for illustration purposes only- shows a PCR genetic test nasal swab being taken from a patient to test if they are infected with COVID-19. Getty Images

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 27th November 2020)-Travellers attempting to use inaccurate test details to board flights to St.Kitts-Nevis, when they are expected to have a negative test result, are being frowned upon and asked to do it the right way.

Chairman of the COVID-19 National Task Force Abdias Samuel, speaking at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing on Tuesday 24th November 2020, informed that there are passengers trying to bypass the approval process by uploading wrong information and other things.

“You are jeopardizing the travellers who are travelling with you, you are jeopardizing the country at large and everybody else that you come into contact with. We are appealing to everyone who wants to travel to St.Kitts to do so and do so the right way,” he commented.

Samuel emphasized that “the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT -PCR) test is what will be accepted and not no rapid test or any other type of test; please ensure. There are persons who are doing home kit testing and uploading these home kits testing. Those will not be accepted.”

“We are seeing a number of irregularities as it regards to the approval process where persons are attempting to circumvent the system with uploading wrong tests, wrong information and doing other things in order for them to travel,” he said.

He continued: “Persons are uploading receipts, persons are actually uploading things that cannot be verified. That will not be accepted, and let me repeat such uploads will not be accepted. Please ensure that when you upload your test, it verifies everything, the lab, the location of the lab, the information and all the regular information required; it’s very important that you do so. If you don’t do so and there’s no mean of verifying the test, your application will not be processed 

Samuel thanked the team that is doing the vetting process noting that the workers go as far as calling and emailing individuals to ensure that they understand what is required.

“Again, there is no need to panic…the corridor of containment is going well from the arrival process  at the international airport, our ports of entry to the processing by border agencies in immigration, customs and also our port health officers  and the transportation,” he said further.

Samuel underscored the appeal by the Chief Medical Officer to those working in the transportation industry namely taxi operators and water taxi operators.

“Please be mindful of how you manage. We have been doing well with the corridor of containment in terms of detecting, identifying and ensuring that there is isolation and containment and management of individuals who may be positive or may become positive,” he advised.

Additionally, in addressing the business community, he told that the Compliance Task Force will be out in numbers doing its job and asked for cooperation.

We have done enough in terms of educating you, in terms of doing everything to prepare you for this moment. From now on we are going to be applying the law to its full extent to ensure we have compliance from the business places.

Such areas include appropriate distance markings inside and outside buildings as well as sanitisation processes.

“There is no need for us to begin to panic to think that the country is going into a shut down. What is being required of you is to be more alert; to be more vigilant. That is what is required of all of us,” the COVID-19 National Task Force official encouraged.