As the May 3rd curfew deadline approaches and restrictions are reviewed, COVID-19 Czar Richard Carter is advising Government to “ensure Barbadians can breathe” but, in the process, “do not compromise the health care system and public health gains” the country has made, over the past weeks.
Mr. Carter made the comment yesterday, Monday, April 27, during the CBC TV Evening News. He said that as Government continued to conduct a review of the restrictions, it was necessary to make sure control over the pandemic was maintained.
“We still have to have a measure of restriction because as long as there is a single live case in the country, you have COVID-19 present in the country, and we currently have over 30 live cases, that is, persons who are within care.
“We do not know whether there are other cases out there because one of the things we have identified through the NAB cases, is that two of the cases that we diagnosed were asymptomatic. So, it is quite possible that there are persons out there carrying COVID-19, who are not aware that they are infected and who could possibly be spreading the disease to other persons,” he stated.
The Czar noted that Government had stood up several additional testing centres and expanded the testing protocol so that symptomatic persons were not the only ones being tested.
“We are also testing persons who may present with other types of respiratory issues that are undiagnosed, and through the use of the additional polyclinics we are able to bring larger proportions into the net, and therefore expand our testing in that regard. This is an important strategy because it allows us to widen our surveillance and be able to detect cases that we might not otherwise have found that are out there,” he explained.
Barbados, Mr. Carter said, was still testing a greater proportion of its citizens than many other places.
He pointed out that the statistical data indicated that the country was testing about four, six or 10 times the number of some of its Caribbean neighbours and noted that officials were seeking to ramp it up even further.
In relation to the recently launched Adopt A Family Programme, the Czar said donations had been received from 257 companies and individuals, with contributions ranging from $20 to $250,000.
“We currently have over $883,000 received from the generosity of Barbadians and I would really like to thank Barbadians profoundly for their generosity even as they struggle with their own needs. This is the kind of response that is needed at this time from Barbadians,” he stressed.
To donate to the Adopt A Family Programme, persons may make direct deposits to account number 1001193982, at CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, Broad Street.