Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, is urging owners and managers of businesses across Barbados to regularly review their COVID-19 protocols.
Dr. George underscored the importance of examining the protocols today as he addressed a COVID-19 press conference, called to announce new measures being put in place for two weeks, to address a recent spike in cases.
The Chief Medical Officer said: “Businesses across Barbados must review their protocols, consistently and frequently, and make sure that their staff are practising the basic guidelines that have been given by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. There is good progress in some areas, but in other areas we are letting our guard down….
“There are many times in Barbados we move around and we are seeing persons congregating in small groups of five to 10 people, and they are not doing the right thing. So, this break for two weeks gives the public a chance to quiet things down, while we in public health try to get on with the work of the contact tracing and try to make sure that Barbadians are kept safe.”
Dr. George noted that while businesses were following the protocols of carrying out temperature checks and hand sanitising, some employees were mingling within the establishments and were not social distancing or wearing masks.
“We have had at least two occasions, where we are absolutely sure that the practices within the businesses are falling below par,” he indicated.
In response to a question from the media about the variants of the virus in Barbados, the Chief Medical Officer disclosed that the Ministry recently received the results of 18 samples that were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
“Nine of those samples were the Alpha variant, which is B117; three of the samples were the Delta variant, and three of the samples were the Gamma variant. What I would hasten to say is that based on information that we have, those cases of Delta were imported,” he disclosed.
With regard to the island’s travel protocols, Dr. George told the media that the Ministry of Health had instituted measures which updated the risk ranking of countries on a continuous basis, as their situation could change at short notice.
“Every two weeks, we are going to be making changes to that list because we know that Barbados’ fortunes have changed very quickly over the December/January period, and many countries fortunes can change very quickly in a few days. So, that is a work in progress. We are working together with the BTMI on that,” he stated.
He also disclosed that the officials had extended the list of countries that were of concern to Barbados and persons coming from them would be required to spend seven days in quarantine.