Conflicting reports of Reg.7 COVID-19 cases being addressed
The Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony has made a commitment to address the conflicting reports of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Region Seven, according to the Regional Chairman Gordon Bradford.
The Regional Health Emergency Committee on Friday last released data which showed that as of August 21, 2020 the region recorded a total of 226 cases, however in the Ministry’s daily update on Monday only 200 cases were reported.
Bradford told the News Room on Tuesday that the inconsistency with the reports is not helping in the Region’s COVID-19 fight and he reached out to the Health Minister to address the situation.
The News Room understands that there is a miscommunication at the National Public Health Reference Laboratory in Georgetown as it relates to location of the cases.
When a person is tested, their address is required and as such there is a mix-up at the Lab with where the patients live and where they were tested.
Bradford explained that in the meantime the Region will desist from updating its cases until the matter is resolved.
“We can only follow what was posted there but I know it’s supposed to be over 200 and not 200.
“When information is posted out there and people start calling us we don’t know how to answer them because the information most times is different from what we will have at the regional level so we are working to have that corrected,” Bradford said.
Mass testing is currently ongoing in the Region and there are over 200 results pending since last week.
So far, five persons have died from COVID-19 in the region. Bradford further told the News Room that it took over two weeks for them to receive the results of the last three persons who died.
“When those persons went to the hospital, their swabs were taken and it was sent to Georgetown and we had to wait like two weeks going into three weeks before we actually got those results and then we could have released the bodies to the family,” Bradford said.
The bodies were kept at the Bartica Regional Hospital which has a capacity for four, but “eventually it reach to five bodies and we had to have an emergency meeting and start discussing the intervention of the minister and whether or not to let the relatives go ahead and bury those bodies.”
Bradford suggested that if the results are sent back at least within 48hrs, then they can better manage the health crisis.
“Unfortunately that is not the case because of the huge backlog.”
Medical technologists at the Reference Lab have started a second 12-hour shift to address the backlog. With limited human resources, more persons are also being trained to speed up testing.
Meanwhile, so far two doctors and five nurses were sent to assist the Region’s COVID-19 fight.