A new, multi-million dollar advanced COVID-19 PCR testing laboratory has been launched in Barbados.
Considered the first state-of-the-art on-site PCR test laboratory in the region is located in the Crane Resort Barbados and offers incoming and outbound travelers having a “dream experience” during the COVID-19 process.
Crane Resort owner Paul Doyle has announced that the typical turnaround time for PCR test results is 24 hours, but his technology-driven laboratory can get them into the hands of visitors and barbadians in “a few hours”.
“We are now at the point where we now have a fully functional COVID laboratory. We can perform all types of tests required, including the more sensitive PCR tests, using sophisticated automated equipment. We have four lab technicians and a couple of doctors, ”Doyle told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview.
The lab offers a $ 109 jet setter package that includes personal VIP service through airport customs, immigration and the various Department of Health processes, transfers to the resort, a rapid antigen test on departure, and a free luxury Isolation suite includes if a fully vaccinated visitor tests positive.
“We have a package with both tests. The only difference between a local and a visitor is that the local starts with an antigen and comes back with a PCR, and visitors vice versa. So we put together a package with both of them along with a quick ride through the airport for $ 199, ”said the resort owner.
The hotelier said tests would be conducted on guests at the Crane and swabs for travelers who show up at the hotel. “It then goes to our own laboratory and you will receive the results.
“The more sensitive PCR tests take a while … take longer than other tests, but we can run a very sensitive quality PCR test in about three hours,” said Doyle.
He announced that the facility has the capacity to run hundreds of tests a day.
“We’re not doing much right now because the government is testing for free at Grantley Adams International Airport and you know that free ones are not easy to compete with. We are all doing testing so people can go home and we are ready to do more testing in bulk if ever needed, ”he told Barbados TODAY.
Doyle pointed out that Barbadians leaving the island patronize the lab in their numbers.
“We’ve seen a lot of locals traveling who need a test. Guests from other hotels also come by. We refine the process, we improve it … but it works well. We have been testing for a few months now. Best Dos Santos was a huge help… they monitored the process very closely to make sure we were right, which is good, and we appreciate it, ”said the Crane boss.
Doyle also announced that the crane is considering a special plan for Barbadians who will have to go into quarantine on their return from overseas.
“The other thing we want to do for the locals is that if you travel and come back, you have to be quarantined until you get your test results back … so with the package I mentioned, let’s do it … you are coming straight to us, we would dab and test you … you just relax in the Crane, have dinner and for dessert you would have your test results back and you could go home and don’t need a hotel room, ”he explained.
The hotelier said he intended to maintain and build on that service.
“Right now we’re only doing one run a day … a run is like 93 tests … 93 people; and we’ll probably add a second run within a week. But we could add three or four or five runs and move on. So we’re going to do an earlier run so people who are going to be testing more in the morning can bring it over and go out for dinner, ”said Doyle.
Doyle told Barbados TODAY that the lab’s current focus is on protecting Barbados and protecting everyone by trying to determine who is positive or negative.
“Our focus is essentially on protecting the people of Barbados, our employees and visitors, in order to find out very quickly and precisely who is positive or negative,” he said.
The prominent hotel owner was convinced that the investment of more than 1 million US dollars in the laboratory facilities and associated elements was worth the money from a tourism and health point of view.
As for the laboratory staff, he is pleased that the technologists who work there are barbadians. ([email protected])