Government has established a COVID-19 Monitoring Unit, which will implement, monitor and assess public health and social measures with reference to the pandemic.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made the disclosure today as she addressed the nation, where she gave an update on COVID-19 issues, at Ilaro Court.
Ms. Mottley said the 10-member unit would be led by Deputy Chief Environmental Health Officer, Ronald Chapman, and comprise officers from the Ministry of Health and Wellness and Ministry of Labour.
The Prime Minister stressed the importance of the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit, saying that it has a critical role to play as the country takes its next steps of fully reopening.
“We understand that there are those who will have concerns, but at no time will human life become secondary to our economy…. We are not…those people; we don’t do it that way…. Any plan to welcome visitors to our shores again and to allow tourism- based establishments to reopen, must and will put the safety of Barbadians first. I said it too many times, it is non-negotiable.
“To be able to live up to that commitment will require practical, efficient protocols, consistent flows of communication from the Government to you, as we have been doing; and just as important from you to the Government agencies, so that we can effectively monitor our progress, and at the same time, solve any issues as they occur. We want to hear from those of you who have serious concerns for a number of reasons.
“Together, we can work through these concerns, as we have been doing over the last few months, to ensure that those who have concerns are as comfortable as they could be, and by extension, that any plan and protocols will effectively take your considerations into concern where possible, solve them, and if not, explain why they may not be solved. That is the duty of the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit that we are establishing,” she stated.
The primary objectives of the unit include establishing, reviewing and assessing protocols with respect to the prevention and control strategy for COVID-19; ensuring community awareness of public health preventive measures, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing and respiratory etiquette; identifying community and local networks and engage communities, businesses and religious leaders; and conducting risk assessment by workstation or function according to the environment, expected tasks, possibility of exposure and available resources.
In addition, the unit will monitor and analyse trends; estimate gaps; propose and enforce corrective actions where needed; and disseminate infection, prevention and control guidance for home and community care providers.