Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the media:
Thank you for being here today as we celebrate the opening of the new Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory. I’m joined at this afternoon’s press conference by the Minister of Health, the Hon. Kim Wilson, Minister of Public Works, the Hon. David Burch and MDL Director and Government’s Scientific Advisor, Dr. Carika Weldon.
Dr. Weldon had a vision when she returned home to help her country by utilizing her scientific expertise, as well as her desire to help other young Bermudian interested in this field. The Government was proud to support that dream, and saw the leadership that Dr. Weldon could provide help to Bermuda to manage through the pandemic. She quickly and successfully set up a testing regime that helped save lives and keep her country informed of the situation we were facing with the coronavirus
. Bermuda’s coronavirus
testing regime has consistently remained one of the strongest around the world, ranking us in the top ten since last year.
As of yesterday, MDL has processed some 325,000 coronavirus
tests. Dr. Weldon has trained young scientists and lab assistants who have done an outstanding job to provide Bermuda with a world-class testing facility that is the envy of many countries worldwide. Some of these countries have even reached out to us, to try to better understand the model we have in place and how we can process and turn around the results so quickly and efficiently.
I am incredibly proud that thanks to the efforts of so many dedicated Bermudians we have the resources we need to do critical scientific work here for ourselves. We have to believe in the talents of our highly educated and trained young Bermudians, knowing they have and will continue to do the job that is expected of them.
The Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory is an example of how public-supported institutions can help to reduce healthcare costs while providing valuable opportunities for Bermudians to advance.
This is in line with the Government of Bermuda’s commitment to seeing both of those issues become a reality, reduced healthcare costs, and Bermudians being provided career opportunities in their own country.
I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to everyone who has made today possible. Specifically to the hard and dedicated work of the Ministry of Public Works, who made sure that MDL was provided with a temporary home at Southside and working with the Ministry of Health to provide a second temporary home after we set up the drive-thru facilities last year, and also the work that was done to make sure that this state-of-the-art lab is now ready so that MDL can move forward with its accreditation process.
And, Dr. Weldon and her team must be congratulated for the work they do every day as well as for the work undertaken to redesign this building to be the new home for coronavirus
test and in the future other vital testing here in Bermuda.
Thank you. Now I turn it over to the Minister of Public Works, whose team has worked diligently to make sure that this home is ready for MDL.