June 25, 2021

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Blindly government public policy on economic reopening

The decisions of the government of Puerto Rico on the reopening of the economy have not been based on scientific data due to the lack of transparency in the publication of statistics on the incidence of coronavirus on the island.

Daniel Santamaría Ots economist and senior public policy analyst at Open Spaces noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) advises that, before reopening the economy, the A country's or region's positivity rate must be below 5% for at least two weeks in a row.

However, Santamaría Ots warned that the way in which the Department of Health ( DS) has been handling the data on coronavirus cases, preventing the determination of whether the island has been below that 5%.

The positivity rate of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico as of yesterday July 13 is 4.9% (10,010 cases positive (202,696 total cases), said the analyst. “To find out how we are doing during those two recommended weeks, a weekly moving average of the positivity rate is calculated. A weekly moving average is the division of the daily averages of positive cases during a week divided by the daily averages of total cases, "he explained.

Santamaría Ots maintained that on the Island, and unlike the rest of the states and territories, negative cases are not updated daily by the DS.

“Example, between June 29 and July 13 negative cases remain at the same number: 192,686. This causes that when trying to calculate the weekly moving average of the positivity rate, it yields a result of 100%, which is wrong, "said the economist.

" The government, not being transparent in Publication of the data on a daily basis, and four months after the first closure, prevents Puerto Rico from knowing how well or badly we are doing in managing the health crisis and makes it impossible for any public policy decision on the reopening of the economy is based on scientific data, "concluded Santamaría Ots.

Given the increase in positive cases on the Island during, Governor Wanda Vázquez could announce this week possible restrictions on the operations of places that have been identified as possible sources of infection.

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