Seven Barbadians tested positive for COVID-19 over the last two days – four on Friday, March 27 and three on Saturday, March 28.
Those receiving positive results for the viral illness on Friday were a 78-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man who recently travelled abroad, and a 30-year-old woman and a 50-year-old woman, who had both been in contact with infectious persons.
The positive cases on Saturday were three males, aged 81, 52 and 49, who all experienced symptoms after returning from overseas.
Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anton Best said today that of the 33 cases, the majority was imported and others were identified through contact tracing. Investigations are ongoing.
He added that the majority of cases categorized as imported related to persons who reside in Barbados and who had travelled overseas and returned.
The Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory had conducted 287 tests since testing began four weeks ago, he stated.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer noted that the Ministry of Health and Wellness had no evidence so far of community spread.
“We do not have any numbers or any indication that it is happening. We believe it’s happening, or it could be happening, and that’s why we’re looking for it. So from a surveillance standpoint, we are constantly reviewing our criteria for testing because we want to find as many people as possible.
“And this is public health at its finest. The earlier we find cases, the sooner we can contain the spread by isolating those persons who are diagnosed with COVID-19.
I can’t, however, say that the 33 represent all of the persons with COVID, I cannot even tell you if it represents just a small proportion of the persons with COVID-19. But we are looking for it aggressively,” the public health official assured.
Dr. Best urged everyone experiencing respiratory symptoms to report this to the COVID-19 hotline (536-4550) or to their healthcare provider so that an early determination can be made on whether or not they fit the criteria for testing for COVID-19.