Free Covid-19 testing day a success, charity says

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by Leon Norville
[email protected]

Thirty people took advantage of a drive to offer free Covid-19 testing to local residents on Saturday. The initiative was organised by international charity Blessed Hands and Generous Hearts in collaboration with two local doctors.

Director of the local arm of the charity, Leon George, confirmed that the event went well, and that organisers hope to host it again.

The doctors enlisted to help were Dr Olsheath Bowen and Dr Tadia Smith, who told Observer she could not reveal if any of the participants had shown positive results.

Just over two weeks ago, the local charity received more than 150 Covid-19 rapid and PCR test kits from Antiguans Patricia Tonge-Edigin, Carolyn Edwards and others living in the United States, which made the venture possible.

Tonge-Edigin said the reason behind the initiative was simple.

“We saw in Antigua Covid-19 cases were on the rise and we wanted to give back to our homeland to assist in whatever way we could. We still have lots of friends and families on island and we do care; not because we have relocated, Antigua is always home,” she said.

The doctors involved in the initiative both agreed to administer the test free of charge to people in the community.

The testing drive was held in Sagicor’s parking lot and ran from 1pm to 3pm.

Persons interested in accessing the free Covid test pre-registered by calling the Bowen Medical office to ensure a smooth process.

George said that the local charity is planning to donate additional rapid test kits to the doctors to continually support the initiative which is especially important for the charity at this time. 

He said, “Plans are also in the pipeline to expand the initiative into several communities to ramp up testing as much as possible.”

He thanked all the people who made the testing drive possible, especially Sagicor who donated hand sanitisers to be given out to those tested on Saturday.

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