Despite a relative reduction in COVID-19 cases when compared with the massive spikes in early January, President of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) Dr. Lynda Williams is still seeing troubling signs in the numbers.
During Sunday’s Press Conference, Dr. Williams said that daily infection positivity rates, which currently range from 4.2 per cent to ten per cent, are still too high.
According to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, “per cent positivity” refers to the percentage of persons testing positive on a day-to-day basis out of all coronavirus tests performed. This, the institution explains, is key to guiding public health officials on the current level of transmission within the community and whether the current volumes of testing are sufficient.
Over the last week in Barbados alone, COVID-19 positivity rates have fluctuated from as low as three per cent to as high as nine per cent. The current rates are considerably higher than those for last November and early December which were consistently below one per cent.
“We have estimated that the positivity rate for Barbados varies from 4.2 to 9.2 per cent. We have been as high as 9.2 per cent from our estimates, but it is hovering right now between 4.2 and 9.2 per cent, which suggests that we have a very active phase going on in our pandemic,” explained Dr. Williams, who describes the metric as a useful one.
“We really want to see that positivity rate fall to less than 1.2 to 1.5 per cent. If we maintain a high positivity rate between nine and ten per cent, it means that almost nine to ten per cent of the samples tested on a day-to-day basis are reflecting positive cases and it’s a metric of how the pandemic is progressing. So we need to work on that by decreasing transmission and that is why vaccination is important,” she added.
In addition to the five COVID-19 deaths recorded last week, there were 13 positive cases out of 520 tests (2.5 per cent positivity) recorded on Sunday, January 31. Meanwhile, Monday’s positivity stood at three per cent (28 cases from 866 tests), Tuesday’s was five per cent (25 cases out of 504 tests), Wednesday’s was six per cent (30 cases from 485 tests), Thursday’s was two per cent (15 cases from 713 tests) and Saturday’s was nine per cent (20 cases from 220 tests). (KS)