Public health boss cutting COVID reports

| 14/01/2022 | 147 Comments
  • Cayman News Service

(CNS): Even as the pandemic continues to rip through the community, closing offices, government departments and placing thousands of families in lockdown, the interim chief medical officer has announced plans to cut reports on the state of the pandemic to just once per week.

Despite the sustained public interest in the daily numbers, Dr Autilia Newton has revealed plans to produce a more comprehensive weekly report with only limited information being released on a daily basis.

On Thursday evening another 380 new cases of SARs-CoV-2 were confirmed through PCR tests, including 11 on the Sister Islands, with ten people admitted to hospital. The latest number of active cases has been withheld, but yesterday officials said the infection rate was running at around 5.4% and around 4,000 people are believed to be isolating.

Officials said the decision to shift from daily reporting to weekly was made after an assessment led by Dr Newton and visiting advisors from the UK Health Security Agency last month.

“Going forward, with immediate effect from Wednesday 19 January, the report will document an epidemiological week, from Saturday to Saturday, as per international standards,” officials said in the press release. However, most countries continue to report important data such as new daily cases, the active levels of infection, hospitalizations and deaths as well as vaccination rates every day.

The officials here said this new weekly report will include data and rates with graphs to help the public visualise the status of the virus in the community and make it easier to understand the changes, developments and overall trends of the epidemic in Cayman. Dr Newton claimed this weekly publication will also allow key messages to the public to be more meaningful and, hopefully, more effective.

“While the community has grown accustomed to daily reports of COVID-19 information, we are now focusing on producing data that will better guide our management of the pandemic locally,” she said. “By adjusting our scope, the Public Health and Ministry of Health teams will be able to offer a clearer picture of how COVID is impacting our community over a sustained period of time.”

The statistics are compiled by a two-person Public Health team that has steadily worked to compile the daily statistics since they began in 2020, and who will now be working on the weekly numbers. But as they will still be collecting and collating daily information, it is not at all clear why the public will not be given the most important headline numbers each day.

Public Health said it will report a reduced number of statistics until the first weekly report next Wednesday. After that, only “critical information will still be made available to the public as it occursthrough government communications channels”.

Numbers such as the confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, which currently stands at 132 with an additional 2,058 of possible cases, will now only be reported weekly, as will the number of admissions to hospital, one of the most important indicators regarding the state of the pandemic.  

Officials are expected to hold a meeting with the press next week to answer questions about this decision that will curtail the local media’s ability to report factually on the status of the pandemic and allow social media misinformation to fill the void.

However, the decision by Public Health to reduce the formal release of information will not prevent the press from requesting this information and reporting back to the public whatever data is released.

See CIG video below of Dr Newton explaining the decision to reduce the frequency of reporting:

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Category: Health, Medical Health

Comments (147)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What is the status of our full-time CMO recruitment to replace the temporary interim CMO?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Alternate Hypothesis: We’ve struggled to get these numbers out daily. So if we give ourselves a bit more time maybe we can manage it on a weekly basis.

    But lets also be honest that the trends/graphs would be good to have so this may be a step sideways. Some advantage, some disadvantage (to the public). But not a horrible change solely for the worse.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We could LFT blitz our community with three tests, and screen all asymptomatic positive COVID out of our community in a couple weeks, then have everyone test once a week to maintain integrity until the global threat is over. 100% reopened again with a minimal effort to discover the sneakiest asymptomatic positives. That’s the shortest, fastest, and cheapest, pathway to normal, and we already have the diagnostic tools to get there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    the stat is so neglible and meaningless…

    i mean you have a 99% chance of survival without the shot. so what’s your point? you increased your survivability shances by 0.5% as a result of the shot? reality check – you also increased chances for adverse events with the vaccine…

    Chances are overwhelmingly in your favor that you would have survived regardless of the shot.
    what a pointless endeavor. Herd immunity is literally an IMPOSSIBILITY as vaccinated individuals are still catching it.

    15 people have died from Covid on the island since the pandemic began… and as sad as that is, welcome to life. people die.

    More people have died in car accidents and shootings in the last year on this island than Covid.

    No1 up in arms about that.

    Time to move on and live.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The article says “…it is not at all clear why the public will not be given the most important headline numbers each day”. It is quite clear to me: the Panton/PACT Clown Car in regard to Covid (and almost everything else) is driving around in the dark with lights off, and now they want to get the entirety of the population to join their ignorant blind joyride. This government is pathetic beyond measure. Time now folks, to get on the phone, send email, tell them when you see them in the shops, on the street, wherever, and let them know in no uncertain terms that we will not tolerate being kept in the dark about the daily progress of Covid in the Cayman Islands.

    The Panton/PACT Clown Car: just when you think they have finally reached the bottom of the dung pit, they prove they can go lower: they bobble their heads, laugh a screechy laugh, and with a silly clown grin, dig a hole and dive even deeper. Their cesspool is apparently bottomless. Trouble is that they expect us all to happily dive in with them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Totally agree with this decision. Who reads daily Covid stats and what value is gained by the readers? It’s wide-spread in the community, just use common sense and protect yourself, else stay home, hide in a closet shuddering with fear until your next statistic report makes you feel better!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Imagine how much safer we would be if citizens were only provided with crime reports or hurricane advisories once every 10 years. Same logic.

  8. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing in any international standard that requires or even suggests weekly reporting of Covid numbers to the affected local population rather than daily reporting. That is why no such standard was named.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right. No coincidence that when the COVID death toll in the U.S. reached 850,000, the U.S. government ended daily COVID death reporting.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday the government announced that as of 24 January they will allow all vaccinated travelers – irrespective of whether they may be infectious or not – to skip quarantine and just mix with the population. That is why they are dropping Covid reporting. The effects of their plan would be too obvious with daily reporting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sponsored the profit mongers

    • Anonymous says:

      Each time one is in a public space such as supermarkets, restaurants, bars, other retailers and offices will be a gamble after January 24. No efforts to remediate ventilation systems and allowing travelers from Covid ravaged countries to intermix with our people. To what end?

      • Anonymous says:

        Balderdash. Cayman was in the top 5 infected countries from 1 Jan. to 14 Jan. How could the tourist bring something that is already here.

        • Anonymous says:

          Seriously, 11:54?
          That is like asking how a money deposit to your bank account could bring something that is already there. HINT: It increases the numbers in both cases.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no way that my family will dine in at a restaurant after January 24th! Covid being allowed to spread as if herd immunity is scientifically proven is madness

    • Anonymous says:

      Wreckless, dangerous and unfounded in science as Covid infections and deaths escalate in literally every country on Earth.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just wait till you all find out it’s the vaccinated who are majority with Covid

    • Butter says:

      Why? Only the ignorant say that sort of stuff. The vaccinated are 30 times less likely to die.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you know what ’30 times less likely” to die actually means? It is a statistical favorite because it sounds so much better than a less than whole percentage point.

        • Anonymous says:

          For the slow class:
          The quite vast majority of those Covid patients who end up being hospitalised here are not vaxed.
          Globally, an ever-growing body of data shows that leading COVID-19 vaccines significantly reduce your risk of falling seriously ill or dying if you wind up infected with the coronavirus.
          The takeaway: The vaccine works. Do you have any other plausible explanation?

          • Anonymous says:

            I really don’t have the time to look for my crayons to explain it, but here is a clue. Don’t present arguments for something that was not referenced i.e. whether the vaccine works or not. My argument was the times factor and what it actually means. Not unlike using the term ‘vast majority’ when majority will suffice, but ‘vast majority’ is used for effect.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lol. Santa isn’t real

    • Anonymous says:

      If you still think that in this day and age you’re too stupid to even argue with.

    • Anonymous says:

      One of the most unintelligent ridiculous comments I have ever read. The vaccinated are not filling the hospital – that is what all policy is aimed at, correctly.

      • Anonymous says:

        How do you know? They don’t give us the data, and the only reason not to do so is that your statement is incorrect. They would ram it down our throats if that was the case.

  11. Anonymous says:

    International standards will not work in a third world environment. They will have to dumb it down to make the Civil Servants happy. Also here it’s all about them and not the public. Hope this helps.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully we will move to weekly weather reporting as well.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Now it is waste of time to test a visitor was negative prior to arrival, repeated testing is only going to cause tension.
    Same way if a family member is positive then lft for family members daily is anxiety. In addition the colleagues will be anxious. By the time lft positive his viral load will be high and might have transmityed.
    Why to overdo when it is not harming.possiy it boosts up immunity.we will have herd immunity and quicly endemic level

    • Anonymous says:

      Herd immunity is a Covid denialist fantasy with zero scientific merit. Humans aren’t farm animals but there are plenty here with the same intelligence levels

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yes ,in the beginning of pandemic ,daily progression is imp to public and public health. Now having almost establishing as endemic and we have to live with it ,protecting ourselves similar to living in a community knowing criminals are around. As such daily details r not that imp to public,but weekly data will be more meaningful to know its behaviour. Howver, daily admissions and deaths may be noteworthy to be alert.

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