St Vincent: Decision to keep quarantine stats secret comes under fire

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(iwnsvg) – Opposition Spokesperson on health matters, Daniel Cummings is questioning the government’s decision to stop publishing information on the number of persons in coronavirus-related quarantine.

“Why is it that they refuse to tell us now how many persons in quarantine? What are they ashamed of or afraid of?” Cummings told a virtual rally broadcast on radio and social media by his New Democratic Party (NDP).

Cummings, who is MP for West Kingstown, further said:

“Every other country not only tells us, they open themselves to a press conference on daily basis to answer questions about how you’re handling this thing. They said, ”you know what? We ain’t telling you nothing more.”

On July 22, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Simone Keizer-Beache announced that her ministry, would, as of the following day, stop publishing data on the number of persons in quarantine.

Previously, that information, and other statistics about the virus in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was published daily, around 6 p.m.

 “… we have taken a decision that, as of tomorrow, we will no longer be listing the numbers in quarantine. And that is because we have a lot of persons, it’s very fluid, we have a lot of flights coming in and we have a lot of persons on yachts and the quarantine period which might be determined at the beginning of your visit can change dependent on time and especially with the flights,” she said on Round Table Talk, broadcast live on VC3’s Facebook page.

She said that another reason for the change is because quarantine “is dependent on contacts.

“So I just wanted to state that we’re not going to be continuing to list the numbers in quarantine, because the quarantine can be from 24 hours to 14 days,” Keizer-Beache said.

“And keeping that on track, even though we are monitoring the persons, it is becoming extremely inaccurate to be putting a figure today which continues into tomorrow, because it’s changing constantly.

“In terms of actually letting it be an accurate reflection over a 24-hour period, it’s not what we would want. So we will be able to say — but in terms of it staying there, being published for 24 hours, the accuracy is something we are concerned about, because it changes within the day a number of times,” Keizer-Beache said.

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