IOM official says Haiti's COVID numbers underestimated

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IOM official says Haiti's COVID numbers underestimated

Saturday, June 27, 2020

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — Haiti recorded a 57 per cent increase in positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) over the last 24 hours, even as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned that there were many more people infected with the virus.

The Ministry of Public Health said the 179 new cases brought the total to 5,722 since the first case was identified on March 19 this year.

The ministry said that two new deaths were recorded, bringing the total to 98.

It said that 4,983 active cases were being dealt with and that the number of suspected cases investigated since March 19, was now 11,506.

But head of the IOM mission here, Giussepe Loprete, said that the figures may be misleading since “some people try to nuance, but I believe 100 per cent that the cases of Covid-19 are underestimated in Haiti”.

He said there were difficulties in testing Haitians, some of whom do not believe in the existence of the disease, adding “the figures can prove to be smoke screens if we can't do any tests”.

Loprete, who was speaking during a video conference chaired by Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe, said no decision should be made regarding the re-opening of the borders without a real assessment of the situation.

He said that ending the confinement is possible with careful assessment of the situation but it takes “more tests, more information, to control the situation”.

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