Premier Alden McLaughlin has said Cayman has fielded requests for COVID-19 test kits from at least six different countries within the region.
Last week, Cayman received 165,000 out of 200,000 test kits purchased for $4.4 million from a South Korean company.
The 200,000 units represented the minimum quantity Cayman was allowed to purchase in a deal that was brokered from halfway around the world by Fernando Jose Nicholson Leos, Vernie Coe and Craig Merren.
Local philanthropist Susan Olde donated half the cost of the test kits.
While he did not go into the specifics of the quantities being sought, McLaughlin said on Monday at the daily COVID-19 briefing that “there are only so many kits to go around”.
A total of 35,000 kits, which were unable to fit on the specially chartered Gulfstream V jet sent by the Dart group to collect and deliver the precious cargo, were sold.
McLaughlin said Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee and his team said 100,000 test kits “is a sufficient buffer for Cayman”.
“So, we are prepared to sell on the other 100,000, and we’ve sold 35,000 to Bermuda, and we’ve sold 20,000 to Barbados,” he said.
Those kits were delivered to both countries last week and now a further 45,000 remain to be sold.
“We currently have requests from Belize, Bahamas, Saint Lucia, and I believe there’s an inquiry from Jamaica. I haven’t seen the latter three. We even got one from Roatan. But I don’t think that their systems are compatible with ours, but I’m not the expert,” the premier said.
While no decisions have been made on the requests, McLaughlin said due consideration will be given to countries that have reached out seeking test kits.
“We’ll see what we can do to … assist as many countries as we possibly can. There’s also a request from Turks and Caicos, although I don’t think they’ve got their machine in place yet,” he added.