Weeks of a downward trend in COVID-19 figures is a positive sign, which the authorities want to see continue, as more people get tested and make things better for Barbados.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, acknowledged the trend this evening at a press conference, which focused on the current COVID-19 situation, as well as the island’s proposed response to the eruption of the Soufriere Volcano, in St. Vincent.
Minister Bostic said: “The stats (statistics) continue to trend downwards as they have been for the past two weeks and this is indeed a good sign. We would have recorded seven new positive cases out of 453 tests that were done overnight at the Bes-Dos Santo Public Laboratory. The seven new cases are all female.”
He noted that the Health Ministry was continuing its community programme of random testing in several areas, and had done so over the past several days.
“What the figures clearly indicate is that the positivity rate is trending in the direction that we want it to trend – definitely below five for at least the last four weeks or so. And, within the last several days, it has been trending at two per cent, and in some cases, we have even been below two per cent.
“So, we are doing quite well in that regard, but the situation is that we still have cases and we still want to get that rate a bit lower, but we are going in the right direction which suggests that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing,” he stressed.
Lt. Col. Bostic also urged persons not to be complacent. “I am asking Barbadians just to continue in this vein because if you continue like this and we continue to do well, then we will be able to do more for the country.”
Elaborating on the declining positivity rate, he refuted the notion that this could be as a result of fewer tests being conducted.
“On the contrary, the evidence suggests strongly that if we were able to get more people tested, maybe 1000, each day, that the positivity rate, in fact is likely to be lower. And, I say that because the tests that we’ve been doing for the last several weeks, initially, really had to do with contact tracing. So we were actually testing people who we knew could have been positive.
“So, the positivity rate within that context would obviously have been higher…. But, I can say to you that the results for the most part have been negative,” the Minister declared.
He further pointed out that the Ministry had been trying to encourage people to come forward to be tested, and he called on the media to help in this regard, through sensitising Barbadians about the need for testing and encouraging their colleagues to come and be tested, if they so desired.