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Ministry of Health warns against providing unreliable information during contact tracing

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Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2020. 8:11 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Health notes that on several occasions people being interviewed during contact tracing has provided inaccurate information with respect to those they have had contact with and advises against such as it can cause the ministry to miss a potential COVID-19 positive case.

The Ministry’s Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, explained today that the decision to follow up on suspected cases hinges largely on the information given during contact tracing as to what kind of contact a suspected patient had with the persons they list. He noted that there have been situations where people demanded to be tested because of the level of contact they had with someone who did not list them as a “close contact” or inaccurately listed them as a “casual contact.” There have also been situations where the person being interviewed for contact tracing, for whatever reason, did not acknowledge having contact with certain individuals at all.

“It’s not that the Ministry is not reaching out to everyone, but we are going to be guided by what we are able to gather from the person giving the interview…” Manzanero said. “We are finding that people have not been that transparent about where they have been.”

He pointed to a situation where a COVID-19 positive patient had visited two private health institutions during the incubation period for the virus, did not report it, and also lied about it when asked.

The patient only disclosed that the institutions were visited once the symptoms had gotten worse.

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