by Linda Straker
- 2021 National Population and Housing Census will begin on 1 November
- Population count is currently estimated to be around 112,000
- Central Statistical Office said delay caused by impact of Covid-19 pandemic
The Covid-19 outbreak which began in mid-August has caused a delay to the start of the 2021 National Population and Housing Census by 2 weeks. The exercise which was originally scheduled to commence on 15 October will now begin on 1 November.
As of 17 October 2021, the Ministry of Health dashboard said that the total number of cumulative confirmed cases stood at 5,746 and there were cumulative recoveries of 5,422. At present there are 132 active cases.
“The start date, which was tentatively rescheduled to October 15, 2021, was further delayed because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, administrators believe that this delay was in the best interest of everyone, as enumerators will be going out into the communities when the risk of contracting the virus is minimised,” said a news release from the Central Statistical Office (CSO).
Admitting that it is encouraged by the rate of Covid-19 recoveries and the reduction in active cases, the CSO said that in collaboration with the Ministry of Health they are reviewing protocols and procedures for field staff to further ensure that the public can be safely enumerated and that our field staff are protected. “Once this is finalised, we will inform the public of the further measures adopted. The public is reminded that our main mode of enumeration is telephone interviewing. However, to be able to execute this mode, the enumerator will be doing a complete listing of buildings and households in the various enumeration districts in each parish. Basic information will be collected, including contact numbers where available.”
The CSO said that enumerators will then be able to conduct the full household interview at a later date via telephone. The second mode for data collection will be face-to-face interviews, which will capture households who were not or cannot be interviewed via telephone. This mode would only be activated when it is necessary and safe to do so.
“The enumerators will operate in strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols and can be easily identified by their safety jackets and an identification card. Each enumerator will also leave a contact card with each household visited, which will include his/her name and the official contact number assigned to him/her by the Central Statistical Office,” the release assured.
Explaining some of the new procedures, the release said that the household should therefore expect a call from this enumerator, who will use the official number on the card. In cases where no one is at home when the enumerator visits, he/she would leave a call-back card.
“Ideally, the contact number provided should be that of the member of the household who is most knowledgeable about the household and can provide information about its other members. In accordance with our Statistical Act and the soon-to-be enacted Census Regulation of 2021, the information provided is strictly confidential and cannot be disclosed to any unauthorised individuals,” said the release.
At the conclusion of the census, the CSO will be able to determine the population count which is currently estimated to be around 112,000.