COVID-19 update and press conference – February 17, 2021. (PMO)

The recent death of a nine-year-old girl – ‘Child A’- from Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, which is associated with COVID-19 complications, was disclosed according to the procedures for reporting COVID-19 deaths.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, stated this during a press conference this morning at Ilaro Court. 

He was explaining why the announcement of the death came after it was first revealed by media in Trinidad and Tobago. 

He stated: “I am guided by our medical officials and the medical officials had reported up to the day before that there were still some tests being run, and that they were not in a position to make any confirmations, and therefore, the Ministry could not do anything….  And up to that time, we had not received any confirmation certainly from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital team, and so we were not in a position to do anything.”

Minister Bostic stressed in his communication with the public and the press that “I personally do not like to speak unless I am absolutely sure, unless I have the facts, so that I bring proof to any situation that I’m dealing with, with the Barbadian public”.

Director of Medical Services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Dr. Clyde Cave, noted that the announcement regarding ‘Child A’s’ death was not from an official source but through the medical community.

He stated: “Whenever in the region we have new, perhaps exciting, but different cases, these experts here share with their colleagues who have experience, and the closest Paediatric Intensive Care Unit would be in Trinidad. So, there’s always discussion, … and that case discussion did occur. There was never any expectation for that professional discussion to make its way into any public announcements outside of the country.”

In addition, Dr. Cave noted that as the physician who is responsible for overall care that he has reviewed every case and was confident and pleased that the highest level of care that could be delivered anywhere was delivered from the ICU. 

“It’s also important I think for the public to recognise that even when there is a sad outcome, like a death.  This does not mean that everything that could be done was not already done,” he added.

Dr. Cave expressed: “We are very proud of our Intensive Care Unit.  It’s four to six beds, which is a small unit served by one Paediatric Intensivist, backed up by the entire Paediatric Department, including a Paediatric Cardiologist. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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