COVID-19 update and press conference – Feb. 26, 2021. (PMO)

Assessments are critical to determining if a person who tests positive for COVID-19 actually represents a new case of the illness.

This was pointed out tonight by Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Anton Best, as he updated media representatives on the analysis of the data related to COVID-19, during a press conference at Ilaro Court.

Noting that questions about assessments are often posed, Dr. Best explained the concept behind the term.

He said: “Sometimes, when you diagnose a person with COVID-19 on the PCR test in the lab, we look for value and if that value is around 30 or higher, it is indicating or suggesting that this person may have had COVID previously. We don’t want to count old cases of COVID that are still turning up because they’re not infectious. So, we have to do an assessment; we have to ask the person if they previously had COVID; when were they diagnosed; we have to ask a whole series of questions to determine if in fact they are a new case of COVID.”

Disclosing that yesterday the island recorded 45 new COVID-19 cases, seven of which were persons previously admitted to the Harrison Point Isolation Facility, the health official reported that 99 persons recovered from COVID-19 and were discharged from isolation, while death occurred in a 79-year-old Barbadian male, who resided at a nursing home.  

He also noted that the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory conducted 922 tests, which resulted in a positivity rate of five per cent.

According to the health official, since March 2020, Barbados recorded 2,994 confirmed cases of COVID, with men accounting for 1,604 cases and women for 1,390 cases.

“The vast majority of persons with COVID have recovered.  The recovery is at 2270 persons,” he  added, while also revealing that the public health lab, having started testing in February 2020, had completed 124,392 COVID-19 tests.

Dr. Best also gave an update on the vaccination programme and revealed that up to February 25, the island had vaccinated 3,692 people, and the total number of persons vaccinated for COVID-19 stood at 29,283, representing 12,687 men and 16,596 women.

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