$4M worth of Korean COVID-19 test kits arrive

| 08/04/2020 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service
COVID-19 test kits arrive in the Cayman Islands

(CNS): A chartered plane brought 165,000 coronavirus test kits to the Cayman Islands on Wednesday, and another 35,000 are on their way via London. The kits cost US$4.4 million (US$22 per kit), half of which was paid for by a wealthy resident. If Cayman can ramp up testing, this could be the pathway to lifting the current tight curfew measures and reopen the local economy. But although there are now enough kits to test the entire population, there is no policy in place yet on how this will be done.

The consignment of tests kits was procured in South Korea and delivered here on a long-range jet.

“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,” said Governor Martyn Roper, whose office was instrumental in getting the kits here.

Cayman News Service
Susan Anne Olde OBE paid half the US$4.4M cost for the kits

“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,” he added.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said it was difficult 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,” he said.

The kits were sourced and brought here 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, while businessmen Vernie Coe and Craig Merren provided the initial contacts for the suppliers.

The Dart Corporation arranged and funded the aircraft charter to fly the consignment from Seoul via Anchorage to the Cayman Islands, and local philanthropist Susan Anne Olde OBE donated half of the amount for the purchase.

“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,” the governor said.

Officials said that 35,000 kits had to be sent by commercial means via London due to capacity constraints on the chartered aircraft and will arrive at a later date.

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (22)

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  1. Chris Johnson says:

    I am pleased to see that 35,000 test kits are going to Bermuda to help our friends over there? Having made a suggestion three days ago that we send some to help another island ago I was shocked that my suggestion received 1 thumbs up and 28 thumbs down. Thank you CIG for continuing Cayman kindness.

  2. Andrew says:

    Now we run the tests out to everyone on island, mandatory door-to-door testing. The same way the census is does. Isolate the infected and slowly creak open the island over the next month or so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Testing capacity is around 500 per day and may eventually ramp up to 1500 per day. There is little value consuming limited capacity by testing those asymptomatic that are also dutifully isolating. We need public “Covid contact tracing and mapping” like South Korea has used to invite those that should be tested. Right now the useful public transmission info is all unnecessarily redacted. If I had been to a supermarket on the day/time that a positive case was subsequently found to have been in the store, I’d want to know, and get myself tested.

  3. Anonymous HN says:

    Good bless Mr. Dart and His family

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sorry but Dart doesn’t get to parlay their limited role into a headliner credit for this operation. The idle jet loan was the least expensive component in this. Thanks to truly heroic donation by Mrs Olde for shouldering half the material costs and others for doing the legwork and due dil in sourcing these. They are the ones who deserve the lions share of credit.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Someone in Alaska is getting fired when Trump finds out we got this through!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Maybe our Government should consider paying forward some of the generosity it received and send 10,000 test to each of the other Overseas territories in the Caribbean.
    Since we are a Christian nation.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mrs Olde was also very generous after hurricane Ivan as I recall. Thank you again Mrs Olde and thank you Mr Dart.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Ms Olde and Mr Dart. Now Alden can you use some of all that surplus you’ve been bragging about for the last 7 years to buy us some ventillators?

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand that Arden McLean was instrumental in getting Mrs. Olde to contribute to such a worthy cause considering she and he are close friends. Thanks Arden and millions of thanks and much love to the Olde family. God bless the day she touched down on this Rock.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bitter and vitriolic sneers do nothing for anyone! Isolate your mouth.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am so pleased with the level of support all around that enabled the delivery of the test kits from Korea

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Dart and company, I hope you know you won’t be getting thanks for very long from especially this CNS community.

    But thank you! none the less.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am grateful and very appreciative for the generous donation by Ms. Oldie and also by the Dart group. The haters can say what they want.

      Thanks also to Craig Merren and Vernie Coe and all others involved

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