As several countries around the world grapple with the coronavirus, General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, Senator Toni Moore, is encouraging Barbadians not to panic, but to be cautious.
Senator Moore expressed this view on Tuesday afternoon during an address to the nation, which was led by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who had earlier held a near six-hour meeting with the Social Partnership to discuss the national preparedness for COVID-19.
She told her audience: “This is not the time to be panicked as everyone is saying, but this is the time to be cautious and be cognizant of how our actions impact not only ourselves but everybody else.”
Barbados’ vulnerability was being brought to the fore with this virus, the General Secretary said, as the country depends heavily on imports.
“But what has been reassuring is that we have a country … that in times of crisis, we can come together to ensure that we bolster this 166 square miles in the ways that matter most and that we can commit, notwithstanding our stakeholder interests at other points in time, … to ensuring that we do all that is necessary to ensure that Barbados comes out of this … better.
“… There are improvements that come with unity and with solidarity and that was demonstrated for the past few hours, and will continue throughout the coming weeks and months,” she stressed.
The Salvation Army’s Divisional Commander, Major Darrell Wilkinson, who is chairman of the Barbados Christian Council, said the church was conscious that the virus, now declared a pandemic by WHO, was not just a medical issue.
“We see it as a potential social and economic issue that could cause disruption in our national life and therefore we want to urge each of you to follow the simple guidelines given by our medical people; they have our interest at heart,” he stated.
Major Wilkinson urged the population to stay safe and to look out for their fellowman.
“We have no control over what might come to us, but we have control as to what we would do when it comes … and the reality is that this threat is … serious,” he emphasized.