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UNC: Did CMO Know About Posthumous Covid-19 Testing?

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THE United National Congress (UNC) is asking whether the Forensic Sciences Centre was sending posthumous samples for Covid-19 testing without the knowledge of the Chief Medical Officer and the Government.

A release by the UNC on Thursday stated the Government were sending mixed messages about Covid-19 testing in Trinidad and Tobago.

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It stated:

“We note in particular, the call for posthumous testing, made by the Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Kamla Persad Bissessar, SC, since March. Mrs Persad Bissessar called on the Government to test samples from people who died from flu-like symptoms recently, for Covid-19. This call was grounded in the fact that the only way we can truly be successful in our fight against Covid- 19 would be to base our actions on accurate and timely data. 

“The response coming from the Government press conference was to dismiss the gathering of this critical data, stating that “the policy by local authorities” was that there would be no posthumous testing. The reasons given were that it was simply too dangerous and carried too much unnecessary risk.

“In a remarkable flip flop today, the nation is being told that the ‘Forensic Sciences Centre was actually sending testing all along to CARPHA’ after stating publicly that this was not the policy by local authorities. Is it that the Forensic Sciences Centre was sending samples unbeknownst to the Government and the CMO? Were the posthumous samples always included in the “samples tested” data set? Did the posthumous numbers just appear today?

“This latest Government announcement raises more questions than answers. Is it Government incompetence or blatant dishonesty when it comes to reporting to the nation on the scope of testing. The sudden magical appearance of posthumous testing data unfortunately puts the credibility of these officials into question. This issue has ramifications for all the data they have presented thus far.  

“Our testing numbers remain lower than the international standards. In a time of a public health crisis the nation is being given politically convenient data rather than all of the information we need to be well informed and therefore better able to protect ourselves and our families. While we may be fighting an invisible enemy we do not need to do so blindly.”

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