The COVID-19 pandemic and threats posed by the new variant, Omicron, were among matters discussed when Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, met with Minister for Europe and the Americas, Wendy Morton, and her team, recently.
Senator Walcott, who also acted as Minister of Health and Wellness, noted that recent statistics showed that the number of cases appeared to be on the decline, with just over 50 per cent of the total population vaccinated.
However, he expressed concern and regret about the lives lost because, in some cases, people waited until too late to seek treatment, or refused it even after being offered it by doctors at facilities.
Minister Walcott said part of the problem came from messages being promoted by anti-vaxxers, through their influence on social media.
In response, Ms. Morton underscored the need for constant communication, especially in light of spikes, with numbers rising and falling.
She added that even though cases appeared to be coming down, and there was the belief that the vaccine “was holding”, there was still a need to conduct research in order to understand the Omicron variant.
Ms. Morton stated that in light of the new variant, the UK had reintroduced the wearing of masks on public transport and in public spaces.
During the visit, matters related to Barbados’ resumption of its capital projects, the area of renewable energy, international business and access to funding were also discussed.
In addition, both parties affirmed their commitment to maintaining the relationship, cooperation and friendships that existed between the two countries.
British High Commissioner, Scott Furssedonn-Wood, and Director for the Americas in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Shorter, also attended the meeting.