People are unlikely to admit they attended private parties when they test for COVID-19, but the impact of these events show up in the numbers eventually.
This was the warning from Technical Director of Epidemiology Division at the Ministry of Health Dr Avery Hinds, during the Ministry of Health’s news conference yesterday.
“The challenge in pegging any one particular event to the cases that arise subsequently is dependent on the individuals who then test positive and are asked about their contacts, their whereabouts, their behaviours—actually identifying participation in said event. So while that seldom ever does happen, occasionally you do find individuals who would say ‘I went to this event or I went to that one,” said Dr Hinds when asked about the link between these parties and confirmed COVID cases.
On Sunday, police raided the Residence Nightclub and detained over 100 persons who were found at the venue. They were charged by summons for breaching the public health ordinance.
Hinds, however, said even in cases where members of the public did share they partook in such a party, it still would not properly inform the data.
“What we can say across the board at a general population level is that the more of these events we have, the more there is a tendency to have these events underground behind the scene, the greater the number of cases we will see in the population.”
He added, “As we were seeing in the past, any congregational type event over a protracted period of time, over several different types of events those then accumulate within the population to provide those larger numbers that we see as an upward trend subsequent to those behaviours being demonstrated,” he warned.
Dr Hinds urged the public to avoid such events and especially not to partake in these events as well as placeholder gatherings for Carnival fetes to curb the possible spread of the virus.
“So while we can’t peg it directly, we do know that the behaviours themselves have recurringly been noted to then result in an overall increase in numbers of cases diagnosed on a day to day basis,” Hinds said.