By Kamal Haynes, BVI News Staff
The British Virgin Islands currently ranks fifth in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) for the number of coronavirus tests conducted per capita.
BVI News analysed testing data from nine of the total eleven OECS member states, omitting Guadeloupe and Martinique whose stats on total tests conducted were unavailable.
As at Thursday, April 30, the BVI had conducted a total of 129 tests; six of which returned positive for COVID-19.
With the territory having an approximate population size of 30,231 (according to global statistics provider, Worldometre), this means that the BVI has conducted about 4.26 tests per 1,000 inhabitants. In other words, the BVI has tested 0.42 percent of its population to date.
Grenada, which has a population size of 112,523, has conducted the most coronavirus tests per capita; having tested 1,406 persons. This data suggests that Grenada has conducted 12.5 tests per 1,000 people, which is equivalent to 1.25 percent of its population.
The lowest-ranked member country in terms of tests per capita was St Vincent and the Grenadines, which has tested 108 persons from its population of 110,940. This represents approximately 0.1 tests per 1,000 people, which equates to 0.097 percent of their population.
USVI has double the testing rate of BVI
Our news centre also compared data between the BVI and the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands. The statistics showed that the USVI has conducted more than twice the rate of tests per capita when compared to the BVI.
With a population size of approximately 104,425, the USVI has conducted 872 tests, which is 8.35 tests per 1,000 people or 0.84 percent of their population.
The USVI has had a total of 66 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, with 51 recoveries, four deaths, and 11 active cases.
‘Tests per capita’ not necessarily an indicator to manage COVID-19
Notably, Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr Joy St John, told BVI News in an invited comment that ‘tests per capita’ does not exist as a measurable indicator for governments to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said there is no mention of it on the official guidelines circulated by the World Health Organisation and other international agencies.
“CARPHA has not intervened on sovereign decisions of its member states with regards to the type and amount of tests to be performed, understanding that CARPHA member states outline their health policies based on many factors,” Dr St John stated.
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