BELIZE – Is The ‘Dudley-Do-Right’ Of The Caribbean: When It Comes To Reporting COVID-19 Test Data

A recent check of COVID-19 data across the Caribbean indicates that Belize is 1 of few countries that are using the ‘Antigen-Rapid-Tests’, and as a result it seems to be more infected with COVID than some other Caribbean/CARICOM nations.

For example, Trinidad’s population is almost 4 times that of Belize, (1,4 million) but according to the most recent data published by the World Health Organization, Belize has more deaths than Trinidad.

That is not impossible, but it is statistically illogical.

So the ‘Antigen-Rapid-Tests’ will help us identify COVID positive people, but on the downside it will make Belize seems to be far more infected than some other Caribbean nations.

Both PCR & Antigen Rapid Test require a nasal swab

As Belize attempts to claw-&-climb it’s way through this ‘devil-of-a-pandemic’ we have to alert the world that those countries that are not using ‘Rapid-Tests’ and probably still using the old but reliable PCR Tests, probably have a much higher rate of infection, they are just not finding them.

Barbados has reported no new COVID-19 deaths in over 2 months.

We searched for an explanation on our Ministry of Health website but could not find an explanation of the difference of these 2 tests.

TYPES OF TESTS & DIFFERENCE – Reference URL ‘Mayo Clinic
PCR Test. Also called a molecular test, this COVID-19 test detects genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A fluid sample is collected by inserting a long nasal swab (nasopharyngeal swab) into your nostril and taking fluid from the back of your nose or by using a shorter nasal swab (mid-turbinate swab) to get a sample. In some cases, a long swab is inserted into the back of your throat (oropharyngeal swab), or you may spit into a tube to produce a saliva sample. Results may be available in minutes if analyzed onsite or a few days — or longer in locations with test processing delays — if sent to an outside lab. PCR tests are very accurate when properly performed by a health care professional, but the rapid test can miss some cases.”

Antigen test. This COVID-19 test detects certain proteins in the virus. Using a long nasal swab to get a fluid sample, antigen tests can produce results in minutes. Because these tests are faster and less expensive than PCR tests, antigen tests may be more practical to use for large numbers of people. A positive antigen test result is considered accurate when instructions are carefully followed, but there’s an increased chance of false-negative results — meaning it’s possible to be infected with the virus but have a negative result. Depending on the situation, the doctor may recommend a PCR test to confirm a negative antigen test result.”

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