COVID-19 update – January 20, 2021. (PMO)

Though the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ COVID-19 Dashboard is currently not being released daily, the information that is recorded on the dashboard has been disseminated via press releases.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, stated this during a press conference at Ilaro Court today, in response to a question asked about the absence of a daily COVID-19 dashboard.

“You were getting the figures almost every day, not necessarily through the dashboard, but either by a press statement or press release from the Ministry of Health and Wellness. When there were no press conferences conducted that were giving you the daily figures of positive cases, of tests that were conducted, of persons being released from isolation, and that sort of information,” he said.

In addition, Minister Bostic stressed: “Even though you might not have seen the dashboard for a day or two, the information has been made public …. We present the information, as soon as we are able to present that information, and if we miss a day of information, we give two sets of information on the following day, because you would appreciate that the numbers are largest and a more complex operation that we are executing at this point in time.”

The Health Minister also mentioned that the COVID-19 dashboard was ‘absent,’ due to the Ministry’s efforts to make some corrections regarding the information recorded and in terms of how the information was presented to the public.

In adding to the response by the Health Minister, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said the dashboard had been ‘absent’ because there was a debate on whether COVID-19 clusters should be included on the dashboard, and it was decided that the information would make the dashboard “too complex and complicated”.

Agreeing that the dashboard should be released daily, Prime Minister Mottley stated: “I do accept that the dashboard is more convenient for persons to look at than to read the text of a press release, so we will work on that and get it back in shape, with the new format.  I think they wanted to have a new look and a new format, that is all that has happened there.

“Bearing in mind as I said too, and this is important, that it is the same people doing everything; it is the same people doing everything. So, I want the country to recognise that like me, I’ve learned to exercise patience.  I’ve learned to be able to understand that people still have their lives to live and to do other things.” 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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