Government’s approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic on the island continues to be based on scientific data.
This is according to Chairman of the Cabinet’s COVID-19 Sub-Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott.
Addressing the nation this evening during a press conference at Ilaro Court, Dr. Walcott stated: “As the Prime Minister has said from the beginning back in March, we are guided by the science… I want to assure Barbadians that we are guided by the deliberations of the [National] Health Emergency Organising Committee. We are also guided by PAHO and WHO directives and of course we make our decisions, evidence based decisions, at the end of the day.”
He added that this approach was also applied to the recent decision to not ban flights coming to the island from the United Kingdom.
The Chairman of the Cabinet’s COVID-19 Sub-Committee stressed that Government was seriously concerned with the recent large number of gatherings and the disregard of the island’s COVID-19 protocols.
He pointed to the improper wearing of masks and physical distancing, and stressed: “It has to stop and it will not be tolerated.”
The Minister further emphasised: “One gets the impression that some persons in Barbados believe that life has returned to normal, indeed, it has not. COVID-19 is still present, and you get that there is this feeling that we can just throw away the masks and the physical distancing, and these are the fundamental tenets that have been shown globally to be extremely effective and efficient in limiting the transmission and the spread of COVID in populations.”
Speaking to visitors to the island, the Minister stressed: “We welcome your presence here, but while you’re here, you must abide by all protocols.”
Acknowledging that the wearing of masks might not be comfortable for everyone, he maintained that according to science the wearing of masks, and similarly hand washing, hand sanitising and social distancing, protect “not only you, but others” from COVID-19.
Dr. Walcott made a heartfelt appeal to the public to comply with the island’s COVID-19 protocols, noting that Barbados had come too far and done too well in managing the pandemic “to just throw our efforts away”.
He reminded the public to remember the three tenets in terms of the reduction of the transmission of COVID-19 – “wearing your masks, hand washing, hand sanitising and physical distancing”.