The government’s Covid-19 surveillance report was not published last week with no reason given as to why.
It has been published weekly since August 2021 and is meant to provide a summary of community statistics in relation to Covid.
The government said it was to provide a ‘clear and trusted data source’ which will help individuals, businesses and the wider community to make ‘positive choices about how they manage the risk of Covid’.
When the report was first introduced, it included the number of deaths, wave surveillance, how many in hospital, age group analysis, and vaccine uptake.
However, hospital figures were dropped because of the limited number of admissions.
It originally accompanied the case figures released daily by the government but eventually this was stopped, leaving only the report.
The report was released every Thursday until a few weeks ago when Public Health moved it to Fridays.
She added that the report would be expanded to include surveillance of other respiratory conditions, such as influenza.
Mr Watterson called them ‘garbage-in and garbage-out reports’, questioning their accuracy and adding that the figures seemed ‘far from reality’ during TT especially.
He wanted to know if the Cabinet Office could give up on the reports altogether or work on improving their accuracy.
Ms Lord-Brennan said: ‘For now, it’s appropriate to stick to the current reporting.’
Bill Henderson MLC also felt it was time to ‘phase out’ reporting of positive results and ‘put all energy into the vaccination programme’.
Ms Lord-Brennan pointed out that ‘surveillance and vaccination are two separate things’ and Public Health would continue to monitor positive results.
The last report on August 19 showed there to be 116 deaths in total since the start of the pandemic.