A CREW member who disembarked from the Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship last month, later testing positive for covid19, says she is convinced the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method is unreliable and produces false positive results.
The woman, who had been one of the leading voices calling for cruise ship workers to be allowed home since April, described the testing process as “a disaster.”
She is currently in quarantine at the Caura Hospital.
“How does covid come today, leave tomorrow and then come back the next day? You only need common sense to see this isn’t making any sense.”
She is among three who tested positive for the virus after leaving the Royal Caribbean vessel, together with nearly 300 other crew members. Since departing the vessel on June 12 – after being quarantined for two weeks in TT waters – she was tested at home, with the result coming back negative three days later.
On June 25, she took a second test, which returned positive.
On July 2, she took a third test, which turned out negative a day later, and finally on Friday, she took her fourth test, which on Sunday, gave a positive result.
Despite all the tests, she said she has not been ill for the year, nor has she experienced any symptoms associated with covid19.
Because of this, the patient said she was particularly sceptical about the PCR test.
“Now, Minister of Health, CMO, Prime Minister Keith Rowley, what is going on? You still want to say PCR testing is correct? From negative to positive to negative to positive – and PCR testing supposed to be accurate?
“No, no, no. You all need to tell the public the truth.
“I am in 100 per cent good health.”
She said two other crew members tested negative for a second time and were allowed to go home.
“Now I have to stay here another three to seven days and get swabbed two more times to get negative back to back in order to go home.
“Is this right? You had nowhere to put us. You made us quarantine on the ship – which is ten times cleaner than this dirty hospital where you had positive cases.”
She said said she is desperate to get back home to her loved ones and her young daughter especially.
“Only because three more (tested) positive you had them do a third test. Three of us test negative seven days later.
“Now another two test positive.
“So what you going to do with the 297 who came negative three times – keep them on lockdown for another seven days to test and retest?”
Patients who test negative twice consecutively are allowed to go home.
She asked, “Only negative results are accurate?”
She broadcast her story live on social media on Monday and gave viewers a view of the conditions at Caura. However, an armed police officer told her to stop the live stream and she complied.
Speaking at Monday’s media briefing, the CMO said this fluctuation between negative and positive test results is an unusual characteristic of the covid19 virus which has been noted in medical literature worldwide.
“Even the cases we have in Caura at this point, we have a couple examples who went through that exact scenario, where they got a negative, they got a positive. There are even cases where you got a second negative after a positive and then you got another negative and then a positive again.
“Some people believe it is late shedding of the viral particles, meaning some of the RNA is being shed, but they are not infectious.
“However, out of an abundance of caution we want to make sure that we have the two negatives 24 hours apart, and we stick with our clinical guidelines on the off-chance that it may be infective, and we don’t want to risk the spread to the population.”
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