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COVID-19 Test Kits Arrive

COVID-19 test kits arrive from South Korea

One hundred and sixty-five thousand Covid-19 test kits arrived on Grand Cayman this morning with a further 35,000 on their way via London. The consignment of tests kits was procured in South Korea and delivered here on a long-range jet.

The complex and challenging arrangements for the procurement and consignment were led by the Governor’s Office in collaboration with the Cayman Regiment, the Ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs, the private sector and the British Embassy in Seoul who undertook due diligence to assure the quality of the testing kits and helped with local logistics.

The team also worked closely with local businessmen Mr Vernie Coe and Mr Craig Merren who provided the initial contacts for the suppliers. The logistics were supported by the Dart Corporation who arranged and funded the aircraft charter to fly the consignment from Seoul via Anchorage to the Cayman Islands. Thirty-five thousand kits had to be sent via commercial means via London due to capacity constraints on the chartered aircraft and will arrive at a later date.

The overall cost of the kits was US$4.4 million. Representing a cost per kit of US$22. In an incredibly generous gesture, local philanthropist Mrs Susan Anne Olde OBE donated half of the amount for the purchase.

The Governor said: “Moving consignments around the world is proving extremely difficult at the moment, so I’m pleased we’ve been able to get these test kits here in such a short space of time. This consignment will enable our health professionals and front line workers, and large numbers of the public to be tested. This is a huge step in keeping on track with the containment part of our strategy. I would like to pay particular tribute the private sector collaborators we worked with. The generous donation from Mrs Olde and the financing of the aircraft by Dart demonstrate the real strength that we can bring to this fight when we combine government and private sector resources and expertise”

Premier Alden McLaughlin said: I would like to add my thanks to all involved in this operation. I know how challenging it was to source, procure and transport a consignment like this from the other side of the world in such challenging times. The work and generous donations from the private sector were instrumental. Cayman is now in a much better place in our ability to ramp up testing and keep everyone safe”

For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks