This journey began in April 2020 when the Government faced with a raging, deadly pandemic the likes of which have not been experienced in over 100 years and working under the most adverse conditions and circumstances, launched the Bermuda Government Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory in Southside.
Through sheer innovation, determination, and leadership we created a testing facility from scratch. The first of its kind in our island’s history. Led by our very own Dr. Carika Weldon the Southside Drive through commenced operations on 24 April 2020.
Over the past 15 months, the Bermuda Molecular Diagnostic Lab has become a pioneering leader in both Bermuda and the region processing over 325,000 samples. Consistently remains in the top 10 in the world in relation to tests done per capita.
And here at home, it became our best tool in the fight against COVID-19.
But more than that – the MDL has become a home to a community of talented young Bermudians who volunteered to participate in the testing and lab work.
This 7-day, 16 hour daily operation relies on the hard work of around 20 of Bermuda’s finest, dedicated young people. And we are so very proud of what they have accomplished.
So it was only fitting that the Government decided to provide this team of dedicated professionals with a permanent first class facility to help them continue their critical work. So this is a particularly special day for us at the Ministry of Public Works to see this project to fruition.
We are also joined by representatives of some of the contractors and workers involved in this project and towards the end of my remarks I will list them.
As you may be aware, the refurbishment of the former Warwick Community Centre building into a state of the art MDL Facility is part of the Ministry’s Short Term Economic Stimulus Programme that was launched in December 2020.
This Economic Stimulus initiative, valued at $13.3 million, is aimed at providing employment and building opportunities for small to medium sized contractors. I should note that these projects are mostly infrastructure improvements and have not added any further burden to the government operational expenses.
The Bermuda Government MDL Facility renovation project was one of the contracts that have been awarded as part of our economic stimulus programme, with Greymayne Contracting Ltd. being the successful company engaged to oversee the project.
Overall, we are very pleased with the response to the Stimulus Programme thus far from both contractors and employees – which I will be speaking to further tomorrow in the Hose of Assembly – all of whom want to get to work and help improve our economy.
And the completion of the Bermuda Government Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory is a fine example of what can be accomplished when we all work together for the benefit of the people of Bermuda.
I wish to take a moment to recognise each of the companies, in addition to Greymane, that were involved in seeing these renovations through to completion.
East End Asphalt
Intelligent Excavation Limited
Redeemed Construction; and 2Tech
I’d also like to recognise our key Government personnel involved in this project Acting Buildings Manager, Mr. Sheridan Ming, Project Manager, Mr. Stephen Squire, Electrical Engineer, Mr. Jamar Dill and Network Engineer, Mr. Eugene Bassett.
Before handing over to Dr. Weldon – let me thank her for her tireless efforts in getting the lab up and running but also particularly for her dedication, enthusiasm and guidance to all the young people who have participated and continue to do so in this effort.
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