The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Barbados increased to 79 today with two more persons testing positive for the virus.
The two women, aged 60 and 64, are the latest staff members of the National Assistance Board to test positive for COVID-19. Since April 14, five NAB employees have been diagnosed with the viral illness.
A total of 175 tests were conducted by the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory yesterday. All the others were negative.
One person was released from isolation today after two consecutive negative tests. The number of persons currently in isolation is 41. There have been 32 recoveries from COVID-19 and six persons have died.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic said at a press briefing this morning that, given the diagnosis of five cases among staff at the NAB, the public health efforts this weekend would be concentrated largely on testing the 255 staff members there.
He said 104 would be tested today and the remainder tomorrow “so that by Monday we will have a very clear indication as to exactly where we are in relation to this matter”.
He made it clear that the Ministry of Health and Wellness had the capacity to deal with the situation and added that he had “all the confidence in the world” in the public health officers who have been working with the challenges of COVID-19 for the past several weeks.
Minister Bostic gave the assurance: “We will dedicate a lot of our personnel and resources to this effort to be able to deal with it so that we can bring the situation under effective management and control.”
The Health and Wellness Minister appealed to all Barbadians who think they may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to come forward for testing.
The expanded list of symptoms as recently disseminated by the Ministry are fever, respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of smell, loss of taste, and gastrointestinal complaints such as anorexia, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain.