FILE PHOTO - Forensic Science Centre in St James.

The Ministry of National Security has given assurances that there is no backlog of autopsies at the Forensic Science Centre, in response to concerns raised in the public domain and national media.

In an official statement, the Ministry explains that the flow of work has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but states that contingencies have been put in place to cater for changes in the Centre’s operations.

NO BACKLOG OF AUTOPSIES AT THE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FORENSIC SCIENCE CENTRE

The Ministry of National Security offers clarification on inaccurate media reports and other statements in the public domain, regarding an alleged backlog of autopsies at the Trinidad and Tobago Forensic Science Centre (TTFSC).

The Ministry assures the public that there is no such backlog and post-mortem examinations continue apace.

It is to be noted that the TTFSC’s process flow, now incorporates additional measures, in keeping with COVID-19 safety protocols. All cadavers received are required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to further processing. When these test results become available, additional coordination between the TTFSC, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and family members of the deceased is necessary, as these persons must or may want to witness the autopsy. These necessary procedures absorb more than usual time in keeping with the said Covid-19 Regulations and practice. Obviously, the operations of the TTFSC are affected by these developments.

In addition, the staff at the TTFSC are also affected by COVID-19 and its Regulations.

The TTFSC would have had personnel, who either were afflicted by the virus or who would have been primary contacts; and for those reasons had to be off the job. This too, would have affected the operations at the Centre. In any event, contingencies are put in place and our pathology services are managed accordingly.

Minister of National Security the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds M.P. gives the public the assurance that the Trinidad and Tobago Forensic Science Centre continues to conduct autopsies and provide services in support of law enforcement, as well as other agencies responsible for the investigation of crime and the administration of justice.