Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw has called on all Barbadians to join in the national effort to turn back the tide of COVID-19.
During an address to the nation tonight, Ms. Bradshaw appealed to residents to cooperate with the authorities and work to combat and overcome this threat to their survival.
She told viewers: “We know that the measures that we have had to implement to tackle COVID-19 have affected the livelihoods and the way of life for many Barbadians. We know this is painful for many and we have done our best as a Government to limit the pain and cushion the impact, particularly on those who are most vulnerable and most exposed in our society.
“But we also know that these measures are necessary. We know that Barbados, like many other countries in the world, stands on the precipice of irreparable damage to the way of life as we have come to know and cherish it, and we will do all in our power to pull back the country from that precipice.”
Stressing that COVID-19 was no joke, Ms. Bradshaw said it had killed almost 50,000 people so far, including some Barbadians living abroad. She added that Barbados had not been spared its wrath, and citizens were not immune to dying from the viral illness.
“I urge each and every one of you to heed the warnings. Stay off the streets; stay in your homes. Practise good hygiene. Look out for the elderly and persons with pre-existing underlying conditions. Let us be our brother’s keeper,” she encouraged.
The acting Prime Minister said that during this period, supplies might run low for some. “We know it will be tough on some families, but we have got to stay on lockdown, so health officials can get a handle on this problem. We need for everyone to stay still, so we know exactly where the virus is and who should be treated for it. If no one new enters the country and each of us remains in our home and neighborhood, then health officials can better identify, access and act upon emerging cases.
“By the end of this 15-day period, we should be in a better position to gauge and know the extent of the spread of the disease, so we can put appropriate measures in place to have it managed and contained. Fifteen days is truly the minimum time that is required for existing, undetected cases in Barbados to present themselves. If, as we would hope, there is minimal movement, then by April 15th we should all be in a position to know where we each stand in relation to this virus,” she stated.
Ms. Bradshaw insisted that Government’s responsibility was to protect the health and well-being of all Barbadians, and gave the assurance that it would discharge its duty without fear or favour.
She noted that by 5:00 p.m. today, the number of COVID-19 cases globally stood at 928,000, with more than 46,000 deaths, and it affected 203 countries and territories around the world.