by Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Questions have been raised about the delay in issuing the daily COVID-19 Situation Reports usually issued at 6 p.m. daily but are now being made available close to and past midnight.
At the September 8 edition of the COVID-19 Press Briefing, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Medical Chief of Staff at the JNF General Hospital provided this explanation.
“As we move through our third wave of infections, there is a greater volume of testing that has to be done. When the information goes to the lab from the time the test goes on the machine, it takes three-plus hours before it comes off and they run in batches. So we may, at 6 p.m get back results that just might show three or four…positive cases but when the final batches are released, sometimes we get the information back at 10 or 11 p.m. and you might have 20 plus positive cases.
Now if we were to put out that information at 6 p.m., it will misrepresent what the real situation is so we believe in waiting until we get all the results back for the testing that was done in the 24 hour period so that we can reflect the true number of positive cases that we got during that time.
And so there are going to be times when depending on the volume of the testing that was done, we might get the results at 10 or 11 p.m. and because of the work that has to be done after we get the results in terms of verifying them making sure that a positive is not just somebody who is being retested, showing that they have remained positive and they haven’t recovered, the dashboard might not be ready right away.
There is no attempt to hide information at all. We have been coming forward with the information to you on a regular basis and we will continue to do that to keep you informed and updated. There have also been calls to modify the dashboard and present more information in terms of hospitalization…and we are looking into that so that we can keep you updated.”