Some 80 jobs were said to have been cut by Government, with the sudden closure of the Molecular Diagnostic Lab (MDL), situated at the Bermuda College.
Workers at the facility offering PCR (saliva) testing were reported to have been granted same day notice of the closure, something described as “beyond callous” by a source close to the situation, noting how the lab employed only a single contracted worker, while others operated similar to that of day labourer, with no manner of job security.
“They only told the staff there today that it’s their last day and there’s only one staffer there with a full-time contract that goes until December, the rest of them were service providers, whereby they only get paid when they actually work,” explained the source. “They must have fired or let go around 80 people and last week I know they sent list of their names to Workforce Development with hopes of achieving some sort of miracle in placing them elsewhere by the end of this month.”
An email from the College’s Director of Communications confirmed the closure, noting: “The College has just received word from the Health Department that the Molecuar Diagnostics Lab (MDL) on campus will close permanently at the end of today, Friday, October 7, 2022. This is due to a very low number of persons coming to test over the last few weeks.
“Persons still wishing to utilise PCR (saliva) testing can do so at the Perot Testing site on Queen Street: appointments are generally required.
It was explained that the job losses occurred in various areas of testing including testing sites, the aforementioned lab, as well a the call centre.
It was also asserted that the facility could have been used for many scientific purposed other than just Covid testing.
“It could be used for a number of things but the Ministry of Health just saw it a being for Covid, rather than thinking outside of their small box as to the wider range of scientific testing and solutions,” added the source. “It’s just a mess right now and again innocent people suffer for Government’s inability to adjust.”
It was further explained how problems arose with the lab once the lab had been moved under Health Ministry control, being mostly used for the testing of staff and students at the college, which is being discontinued as the coronavirus continues to retreat from in its position as a considered threat.
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