By Theresa Goodwin
Health Minister Molwyn Joseph has shed some light on the latest confirmed Covid-19 cases which rose from 66 to 68 earlier this week.
Without divulging many details, the minister said the two newest cases were from samples taken on June 26 and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad for testing.
The minister was asked if they were linked to the four Hodges Bay workers who showed positive results using rapid antigen tests carried out by private physician Dr Joseph John last weekend.
Joseph remained tight-lipped on that. However reliable sources have told Observer that two of the four resort staff were in fact tested prior to Dr John’s involvement and the samples sent to CARPHA. The other two tests are said to still be pending validation from the regional body.
Joseph previously accused Dr John of breaching several health protocols in administering the tests – a charge the physician denied.
Government subsequently announced it would retest the four using its PCR machine.
Joseph also stated that, “When we conduct testing, we do not identity whether those persons are hotel or restaurant workers. We have very strict rules on confidentiality and protecting people’s privacy.”
He continued, “The Ministry of Health has no protocol established between the government and any private practitioner. We test according to our programme.”
The health minister further stated that all data shared with the public is as a result of swabs sent to either CARPHA or Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) for testing.
A revised version of the government-produced Covid dashboard released on Wednesday showed 68 confirmed cases of the virus, 23 recoveries and three deaths.
It also declared a total of 739 tests had been undertaken so far, with 19 pending.
And 112 people were said to be contained in the government quarantine facility at the Hawksbill resort, while 350 were in self-quarantine.