Press conference re: COVID update and national cleanup efforts, hosted by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley at the Grantley Adams International Airport – April 15, 2021. (PMO)

The public has been told not to become complacent and to continue following COVID-19 protocols, as the island experiences the effects of ash fall from the La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, today urged Barbadians not to “drop their guard’, during a press conference at the Grantley Adams International Airport, which dealt with Barbados’ COVID-19 situation and national clean-up efforts.

Expressing how pleased he was about the decline in the COVID-19 positivity rate, Minister Bostic cautioned the public about becoming complacent.

“These things can change with the twinkling of an eye, and they can change if we become complacent, if we rest on our laurels, if we drop our guard. If we do those things in my view, what we’re doing is feeding the pandemic. Giving it strength, giving it oxygen, and that is something that we are not going to do,” the Health Minister emphasised.

He asserted that complacency is real and referred to an article out of Israel, shared with him by a public health doctor, which stated that people relax their efforts when they are close to the end of a COVID-19 outbreak. 

“When you are coming near to the end, … people may start to smile and to relax and feel that it is all over.  And that is something that I’m urging all of us, including myself and all those who work with me to ensure that we do not do that, we have to treat to this thing until the very end; the same way that we’ve been fighting it all along,” Lt. Col. Bostic stressed.

The Health Minister pointed out that the arrival of vaccines and the continuous decline in positivity rates “is not an excuse for us to stop sanitising, stop physical distancing and to stop wearing masks”. 

“We must be very, very vigilant as we go forward, so that we continue on the present trajectory, and that we do not return to the last few months…. 

“So continue to do the right things and I can assure you that we will continue to see the figures going down. We are on top of things at this point in time, but we are not going to become complacent,” he stated.

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