British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Dec 03, 2020

Hours of delay for govt's COVID update leads to online backlash

Hours of delay for govt's COVID update leads to online backlash

Members of the public including those in places as far as the United Kingdom have expressed discontent towards government after waiting nearly three hours passed the promised time to hear last night’s COVID-19 update from Health Minister Carvin Malone.

The update was originally scheduled for 9 pm on Monday as posted on the government’s official Facebook page. But after approximately 30 minutes past the scheduled time, the government issued a notice expressing that the broadcast was delayed for an indefinite period.

The post read: “Please be advised that the COVID-19 updated by Honourable Carvin Malone, Minister for Health and Social Development has been moved to a later time. We will send out the link once the live update is ready to begin. We do apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

This notice did not sit well with a number of social media users as it had not clearly stated a revised time that persons could tune in for the announcement.

“I have stayed up until 2 am UK time to hear this and nothing,” one social media user wrote under the comment section of government’s announcement of the delay.

Another user said she felt as though the government did not value hers or other persons’ time.

“Do you all realize we’ve been waiting, holding our breath, worrying about our future, our kids, our lives for over an hour?” she questioned.

“We appreciated that your last address [was] right on time. Our time is just as valuable as yours,” the Facebook user added.

Could have been more professional

Some persons also argued that government should have handled the delay by leaving more details or by postponing the live update to a more convenient period where residents and persons abroad would be better positioned to tune in.

One such person wrote: “How about a message to say … ‘ministers still in Cabinet ironing out some details. Will be with you as soon as they are complete with their deliberations’.”

Just under an hour before the broadcast commenced, another Facebook user added: “It is nearly 11 pm. Most are ready to crawl into bed. Would have been courteous to have just said, “tomorrow, Tuesday 8/25 @time, as opposed to having all of us sitting and waiting.”

Also sharing similar sentiments, one male user said: “Ok, it is now one hour late. Surely they can set a new time rather than leave the whole island hanging for who knows how long. Maybe just set a time for tomorrow morning so that everyone can go to bed!”

The broadcast eventually went live roughly 15 minutes before midnight. According to Malone, ministers had been locked in a Cabinet meeting deliberating the decisions for the territory. He said those deliberations lasted up till “moments” before the start of the broadcast.


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