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Scarborough General Hospital. (Image courtesy Ministry of Health)

“Stop public mischief!”

That’s the warning the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) issued yesterday in an apparent response to a Public Services Association’s statement that 50 people in Tobago’s healthcare system are infected with COVID-19.

The PSA’s widely circulated press release yesterday claimed 13 staff members at the Scarborough General Hospital tested positive for the disease last week.

The release, quoting PSA’s Industrial Relations Officer Hayden Duke, claimed that the rate of reporting COVID cases “suggests” 50 people are now positive.

Responding to the claims, the TRHA release said the comments were geared towards destabilizing Tobago’s COVID care, generate public distrust and panic among the general public and staff at the hospital.

“Outrageous claims and exaggerated estimates of the number of COVID-19 cases arising from the Scarborough General Hospital (SGH) are dishonest and loaded with dangerous intent,” the authority said.

It added: “We will continue to ensure that there is widespread testing at our facilities and on the Island. We now have our own antigen testing machine for quick turnaround of results.”

At the July 8 Tobago Health Update press conference, Dr Anthony Thompson, a COVID-19 Response Team Member from the County Medical Officer of Health said the hospital had a cluster of cases and not an outbreak.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reported yesterday the country recorded two more COVID deaths and 188 new positive cases.