Out-of-the-box thinking by Barbadian health authorities has netted this country another COVID-19 case, which, under normal circumstances, could have gone undetected for a long period of time.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, explained earlier today, that following the positive diagnoses of five returning nationals last weekend, a decision was taken to extend the quarantine period of persons seated in close proximity to those five.
What that meant is that even though such persons would have tested negative twice, seven days apart, they remained under close supervision of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and were told to self quarantine for another week, out of an abundance of caution.
Someone seated close to one of the five that tested positive last weekend, has now, on their third examination, tested positive for the coronavirus.
Not many countries in the world, if any at all, administer a third test. But Barbados chose this course of action, following last weekend’s five case revelation.
And to date, that third testing of selected passengers on the repatriation flight from New York to Barbados on July 4th, has thrown up a single new positive case.
The third-time unlucky individual is a 54-year-old Barbadian woman, who has remained in quarantine ever since returning to the country, as she was told on Day Seven, that having been seated close to one of the five who tested positive, her period of quarantine and frequent monitoring, would be extended.
Dr. George explained that while this is technically another case added to the Barbados tally, bringing it to 104 confirmed cases, it is also a tremendous tribute to the protocols and practices of the Ministry of Health and Wellness as well as a commentary on the dynamic nature of this virus.
“For a person to test positive 11 days after arriving in the country and after two negative tests seven days a apart is very interesting in the least, but I am happy that we did the necessary contact tracing and that we benefitted from the full cooperation of passengers aboard that flight. However, this is COVID-19 and we shall not stop our search for any and all possible instances of spread in Barbados,” the Chief Medical Officer said.
The Best-Santos Public Health laboratory has now completed 9091 tests. There are 104 confirmed cases, 90 recoveries and seven deaths.