NEWS: Government reporting of COVID-19 cases incorrect



By Eric Rosario

eric@kanditnews.com


The Joint Information Center Wednesday night reported that no one tested positive for COVID-19 at Guam Memorial Hospital yesterday.


GMH administrator Lillian Perez Posadas today, however, said "There are two COVID-19 cases that came through [the emergency room] during the night shift," Wednesday.


At 4:16 p.m., the JIC issued another news release stating that as of last night there were no COVID-19 cases at GMH.


Kandit News Group has been chasing this story since early this morning, after multiple GMH sources said the government was lying about the information it put out. Questions to JIC and GMH officials went unanswered until late this afternoon, and only after Kandit published a story and three phone interviews by video of officials who were unsure of the reports.


As we chased the story, Guam Regional Medical City sources confirmed that three GRMC patients tested positive and were transferred to GMH today. The JIC released information that one patient, who tested positive for COVID-19 at GRMC later tested negative through testing conducted by the Guam Public Health Laboratory.


The GPHL's testing methods have been a source of controversy since the manufacturer of the testing machines they use - Abbott Laboratories's Abbot ID NOW - said the way GPHL was testing swabbed specimens tends to produce false negatives.


We asked Ms. Posadas, "GRMC is now telling us that three positive cases were sent over to GMH. Can you confirm this?"


"Yes, confirmed," Ms. Posadas wrote. That brought the total new cases at GMH to five, which matches information provided to Kandit by several sources of information from both GMH and GRMC.


Twenty minutes later, Ms. Posadas replied that the total at GMH is not five patients, but three: "There's only three and all three were sent from GRMC."


The information from Ms. Posadas, however, directly contradicts both the information coming out of the JIC (which is information obtained from the Department of Public Health and Social Services), and the sources of information from both GMH and GRMC.


The timeline also is in question, as the initial two new GMH cases were confirmed by Ms. Posadas to have occurred last night, while the admission of the GRMC cases to GMH happened today, according to sources at both hospitals.


Ms. Posadas is adamant that the source information is incorrect.


Theo Pangelinan, Ms. Posadas's assistant, told Kandit News prior to Ms. Posadas's confirmation of new cases that the GMH emergency room is busy today.


One thing is perfectly clear, though: the government's reports from Wednesday night through 4:16 p.m. today were false. How many other reports have been false or falsified since the public health emergency began?

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