While many countries require a negative Covid test for immigration clearance, some owners, captains, and yacht managers want more peace of mind, and control. Sentio Superyacht Consultants has partnered with Cue Health to distribute the Cue Covid-19 testing kits, rapid molecular tests. FDA and European Union authorized, it delivers results within 20 minutes, in the palm of your hand. This allows for testing right on the aft deck upon guests’ arrival and departure.
Molecular testing, commonly called PCR testing, is the gold standard for Covid detection. Specifically, it has higher reliability because it can detect smaller traces of the virus. According to Cue Health, based in San Diego, its test has 98.7 percent accuracy in sensitivity, meaning the ability to correctly identify those with the virus.
As for Sentio Superyacht, it’s been active in yachting since 2015, providing technical and scientific consultancy. It’s a division of Sentio Group, a maritime-consultancy offering specialist solutions across a range of sectors. Yet another division, Sentio Protect, which focuses on solutions for occupational health, safety, and sustainability across the full maritime industry, is working with Cue Health to deliver the onboard testing kits. It has the exclusive distribution agreement for maritime use, too.
Here’s how it works. Following a consultation for your yacht’s needs, Sentio Superyacht creates a test profile and quotation. It then supplies the test kits directly to you or your representatives. The kit includes the Cue Covid-19 testing reader, fits in the palm of your hand. It further includes non-invasive lower-nasal swabs, which your crew inserts into the reading cartridge. The results then display on a mobile device, via a Cue Health app.
“The phrase game changer can be overused, but this technology really does deserve the accolade,” asserts James Hammond, chief executive of Sentio Protect. The challenges for testing on yachts and other in-the-field situations are significant, he says. For instance, high accuracy is vital. It is equally challenging getting an easy-to-use, laboratory-standard molecular test without a complicated laboratory process. But, Hammond continues, “we can now bring that accuracy right to the passarelle and have reliable results in real time.”
Sentio Superyacht can scale the testing to your needs, too. For perspective, Hammond says the cost is a fraction of a charter fee. Typically, he explains, “it’s between one percent for a 90-meter with 31 crew and 36 guests and three percent for a 40-meter with eight crew and 12 guests.” Furthermore, “this is testing all crew once per week and testing guests twice, once on arrival and once on departure. It’s necessary to test the guests twice, because unless they are going to be confined to the vessel for the whole charter, we need to ensure they are negative when they leave the vessel and go back into their communities.”
Ultimately, Hammond argues, the expenditure far outweighs the risk, including legal exposure.
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