The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, PSOJ, is calling on the government to decentralise the national Covid-19 testing programme.

The private sector lobby group says affordable and wide scale availability of rapid Covid testing must be a key component of the country’s response and management of the pandemic.

In a statement this morning, the PSOJ says this will be particularly important as the country moves into adapting to living with the virus.

The lobby group says readily available rapid tests will help get the society back to operating normally by minimising the spread of Covid-19.

The PSOJ says the country’s testing programme has been criticized for being expensive and inaccessible to a wide cross section of Jamaicans.

It’s calling on the government to expand the number of doctors authorised to do antigen testing in the country.

The group is also calling on the Health Ministry to approve the use of more tests in the country, including self administered tests.

It says Jamaica only has approval for use of four tests, when countries like the United States has approved up to 34 rapid tests.

The PSOJ says the government should reconsider its policy with a view to approving all test kits approved by the WHO and the US FDA.

Finally, the PSOJ wants to see a zero rate tax on Covid antigen tests in the country.