Health ministry defends testing
The Ministry of Health yesterday defended multiple coronavirus tests on a returned resident.
The ministry spoke out after People’s Pharmacy criticised the Government this week after one of its employees underwent a total of six tests before being confirmed coronavirus-free.
A spokeswoman for the ministry said: “The Ministry of Health understands that the multiple testing procedures are stressful for any person.
“Each test performed is necessary in order to fully clear individuals and ensure their close contacts and the community stay safe from Covid-19.
“As part of routine quality control measures, results are considered in terms of the present medical history and epidemiological pattern and, if there is any doubt, we isolate and retest.
“The Government has effectively dealt with the threat of the coronavirus pandemic by taking all precautions to ensure that we minimise the risk to the community.”
Tamara Richardson, the vice-president of the People’s Group, said on Tuesday that the department had acted with an “alarming lack of clarity” and that the employee had faced “excessive testing”.
She added the business’s reputation had suffered “irreparable damage due to “libellous and salacious social-media posts” that had caused her staff “panic and angst”.
The employee was also victimised by social-media rumours that she had breached Covid-19 rules. The pharmacy was identified in a government press release last weekend.
The ministry added: “It is regrettable that this story has played out in the media and that individuals felt it necessary to spread damaging rumours and mistruths.
“The Government does not identify any business or establishment unless there is a public health reason to do so.
“The only reason that People’s Pharmacy was named in Saturday’s press release from the Government was due to a request from the company for Government’s assistance to distance People’s from the rumours circulating on social media regarding the place of employment of a traveller that broke quarantine.
“We are grateful to companies like People’s who continue to follow public health advice, as they did in this instance.”
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