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The number of fatalities from COVID-19 in Barbados rose by one today, taking the total number of deaths to 15.

The latest person to fall to COVID was a 62 year-old Barbadian male, who had been a patient at the Harrison Point Isolation Facility for the last nine days.

This latest death came on the very day that the Ministry of Health and Wellness rolled out its community based intervention, Operation Seek and Save.

The programme which is engaging  health care specialists, other professionals and interviewers, will go into communities all across Barbados to identify persons who are COVID-positive or at risk of COVID.

The primary objective of the intervention is to ensure that  medical professionals reach persons who are infected, at risk of infection or who would be particularly vulnerable to severe consequences when infected with COVID-19.

If reached early, health care professionals are more likely to be able  to prevent the onset of severe symptoms of COVID and reduce the likelihood of death. Particular emphasis is being placed on households with persons across wide age ranges, elderly members and those with chronic noncommunicable diseases.

Commenting on the loss of this Barbadian, Dr. Corey Forde, Infectious Diseases Specialist and Head of Isolation Facilities in Barbados, is reminding Barbadians that, “masks are your chief weapon. Please wear them.”

He is pleading with Barbadians to “look out for neighbours, the elderly, and those needing help. Get them to medical care.”

He is also encouraging members of the public to cooperate when the “Seek and Save” teams come to their homes and communities  and to get tested if requested. “We are fighting to save lives. If people follow the guidelines we will win the battle.”

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Hon Jeffrey Bostic, joined Dr Forde in extending condolences to the family now in mourning.

The Minister urged prayer for the nation, while Dr. Forde asked that Barbadians cover our healthcare professionals and frontline workers in prayer at this time of national concern over COVID-19.

COVID Communications Unit Barbados

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