Editorial, Guest Editorial

WILLFUL BLINDNESS — “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” Shakespeare

Press Release — Confirmation of COVID-19 Rapid Test Results

The Ministry of Health & Wellness guides the public that anyone who has had a COVID-19 rapid antigen test and receives a positive test result must have a PCR COVID-19 test to confirm this result. PCR Testing for COVID-19 is available at the five Respiratory Clinics free of charge. This is in-keeping with the national testing protocol for COVID-19 and to allow for the bridging into care of anyone diagnosed with this virus.

The support of the public is being requested to ensure adherence to these guidelines to facilitate care and treatment to anyone who may be affected.

What the above reveals is important, but what it conceals is vital, about the Doctors in the Ministry of Health who are in a postion to properly advise the decision makers. 

Sins of Omission carry as much import as Sins of Commission.

In order for our leaders to provide us with the necessary comfort and safety, the doctors advising them must of necessity be open minded.  We are entitled to our own opinion but not our own facts.

All St Lucian lives are in danger and  heaven forbid, we could be looking at over 50 deaths  before the vaccines are administered.  Every life lost is a tragedy so let us do the right thing.

Misinformation sent out as fact, publicly by doctors, must be debunked publicly as well.

As pertains the Antigen test, the World  Health Organization (WHO) in December 2020, noted what was confirmatory.

The WHO December 2020 guidance labelled the COVID -19 Case Definitions as Suspected, Probable, and Confirmed.

 Confirmed cases are the following:

  1. Positive PCR
  2. A person with a positive Rapid Antigen Test and who meets the clinicial criteria for COVID AND is a contact of a probable or confirmed  case is COVID-19.
  3. A person with a positive Rapid Antigen Test and who on chest imaging shows findings suggestive of COVID – 19 disease is classified as a confirmed case.
  4. An asymptomatic person with a positive Rapid Antigen Test who is a contact of a probable or comfirmed case.

You will note that contrary to the press release of the Doctors of  the Ministry of Health there is no need for any confirmatory RT – PCR test if criteria 2, 3,or  4 are met.  Further to this it is sciencifically recognised that Antigen positive COVID-19 patients are highly infectious.

Therefore, it is irresponsible for doctors to mandate their further exposure  to the general public.

In addition, the current delays  of up to seven days or more for obtaining PCR results  increases the infection risk for everyone.

Let us  not allow our confirmation biases  and prejudices to influence the content  of our advice.

More than ever in these crucial times, the doctors must deliver  the correct advice  to decision makers and the general public.

Our lives  depends on this!

Some final suggestions:

  1. Wide spread Antigen testing to isolate and contain virus spread.
  2. PCR testing approved to be undertaken by law in all major institutions.
  3. Composition and mandate of the Central Command Centre should be reviewed.

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