Puerto Rico: Delayed reports lead to 355 new COVID-19 cases

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FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, U.S. health regulators OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S. (NIAID-RML via AP)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico on Thursday reported 485 new cases of the coronavirus, but officials say 355 of those correspond to April and early May and had not been shared with the government until now.

The announcement drew criticism from many who say the government lifted a two-month lockdown without taking into account those cases.

The island’s Health Department said samples involving the cases in question were taken from March 31 to May 16 and were identified by health officials and laboratories. It was not immediately clear why the 355 cases were not identified earlier.

The U.S. territory has reported a total of more than 4,500 COVID-19 cases and at least 140 deaths.

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