The northern congregation whose members shunned COVID-19 testing when their church was identified as a possible cluster displayed “irresponsible and reckless” behaviour, says Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic. However, he has now also lauded them for finally stepping forward to be tested for the highly contagious virus.
The cluster, which was recently identified by the ministry, is responsible for scores of positive COVID-19 cases including recently diagnosed 11 security guards at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and three people associated with a day nursery.
“We continue to be affected negatively by the fallout of the positive cases coming from that church and I can only describe that kind of behaviour and what we have observed as being irresponsible and reckless. It is behaviour that we cannot tolerate, behaviour that we would not like to see happening again in this country where all of us are being put at risk,” Bostic maintained during a press conference at Ilaro Court this evening.
He applauded those church members who had followed the ministry’s instructions and had come forward to be tested.
In his address last week, Bostic had accused some members of hiding from health authorities trying to locate them.
“I would like to take this opportunity also to say a big thank you to those members from the church in the north who heeded the call and actually presented themselves for testing. Some of those persons actually tested positive and have been part of the statistics that we have been giving out over the last few days.
“I say thank you to them because really and truly if we are to successfully navigate this course in terms of COVID-19 we depend on each and every one of us to be able to play our part,” Bostic said.
However, despite the concerns relating to that cluster, the minister said the positivity rate had remained around two per cent for the past week.
He said the latest testing had identified nine new cases from 365 test results.
“I am happy to report that for the past seven days the positivity rate was around two per cent and this is encouraging news although we still would like to see it below that.
“I also want to say that one of our goals which is to reach 25 cases per 100,000 population that we are now averaging around 39, which is below what was reported the last time that we spoke to you, so we are going in the right direction but there’s still some work to be done,” Bostic pointed out. ([email protected])