COVID-19 update and press conference at Ilaro Court – January 28, 2021. (PMO)

Infectious Disease Specialist and Head of the Isolation Facilities, Dr. Corey Forde, is urging Barbadians to pray for those with COVID-19, and to work with the Ministry of Health and Wellness by following the protocols set out.

Speaking at this evening’s press conference at Ilaro Court, Dr. Forde said: “We continue to ask Barbadians to work with us, and pray for all of our citizens, who are currently in the Critical Care Unit. At present, there are 10 persons in the Critical Care Unit. One of them is on a ventilator.”

While alluding to the recent death of a Barbadian female with some comorbidities and who was in the facility on a ventilator, he told media representatives that there was one other person currently on a ventilator and eight others in the facility on oxygen support.  

“They are all Barbadian nationals. The one on the ventilator continues to be the Trinidadian national, and she has shown some improvement in her situation, over the last few days.  And we really continue to pray that this continues in that particular vein,” he stated.

Asked to give the age range of those in the Critical Care Unit, Dr. Forde said they were between 42 and 72 years old, at that particular point in time, but pointed out that this could change. While also pointing out that in recent days the unit had been seeing younger people, the specialist stressed that it spoke to “what we’ve been saying all along that this disease is certainly no respecter of age, certainly no respecter of persons”.

Further explaining why Barbadian nationals really needed to heed the calls by the Health Ministry to physically distance; wash hands and wear masks, Dr. Forde said: “We continue to see too many people. Every time I see people on the road and they’re together in bunches not wearing masks, it almost sends the chills through me because it puts a real strain on our healthcare system. You know people look well and they are walking around; they look like me or you, and they may have the virus, but it may not be necessarily them.

“They are the persons who might not get in trouble, but it might be their granny who is in the house; it might be their mother; it might be their father; it might be their neighbour. I’m really, really asking because of what we’ve seen over the last few weeks in our Intensive Care Unit managed by Dr. Lovell….  We are getting more sick people.”

The Infectious Disease Specialist also emphasised the need for Barbadians to take precaution against the backdrop of the impending lockdown and Government’s upcoming community health programme.

He said as the Ministry sought to figure out other people who may be ill, he was asking Barbadians to seriously heed the warnings of the Ministry of Health.

“And, as we go under lockdown, I’m also asking you to, you know, take time for your family as well, but also heed the warnings and really follow the protocols. This is strategically important; if our healthcare system crashes, it’s not going to be very easy, I think. A lot of the physicians are beyond a lot of pressure right now, trying to keep things in order and you are the only people out there who are going to help us to do that in the long run,” Dr. Forde stressed.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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