COVID-19 update and press conference – January 30, 2021. (PMO)

Barbados is in the process of rolling out a COVID-19 community evaluation survey. This is according to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, and Chairman of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on COVID-19

The programme, dubbed ‘Seek and Save’, will gather information to assist in identifying persons with not only COVID-19 but also those who may have dengue fever. It has over 300 volunteers who will be trained and certified in health data management.

Senator Walcott noted. “We recognised that at this point in time in Barbados with the Covid, we are seeing community spread, we are seeing cases popping up all over the place. This period gives us the time, the space, to be able to assess our situation and most importantly, try to identify where cases may be.”

The Minister continued; “The first team will be using smartphones, there’s no paper there’s no pencil and pen we’re utilising. There will be a link connected to the University of the West Indies cloud system. They go to a household, they click on the link they pull down the link, and they go through a series of questions, included as part of the process, obviously, it is a geo tagging of those residents for obvious reasons.”

He noted that the survey should take a few minutes and would cover several health issues and COVID related dangers.

This information would then be transmitted in real time to the University of West Indies to be processed and the data analysed. It is expected to churn out information every two hours, indicating where hotspots are, and potentially where someone who has symptoms is located.

A second team would then visit persons where they are and do the necessary testing for COVID-19.

Minister Walcott spoke to the concerns of persons who might think they needed to have the test administered at a medical facility.

“I’m sure that all of the public has seen globally where testing is done, it can be done in a car. It can be done through a window; it can be done at your door.”

The Minister appealed to persons to be helpful and tell the truth, because the information, he said would be valuable in identifying any incidences of COVID-19 within the community, thereby assisting in isolating and reducing the transmission of the disease.

fabian.belgrave@barbados.gov.bb

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