With a 500 per cent increase in COVID-19 cases for September, the public is being urged to do its part to stop the further rise in cases.
Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anton Best, made an appeal to the public to help ease the burden on the isolation facilities and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, during a COVID-19 press conference this morning.
Dr. Best, who spoke about the high increase in cases, stated: “The situation that we are seeing right now is a grave situation, where the rate of cases of COVID is extremely high, and it’s getting even higher….
“And so far, for October, we’ve had over a 1,000 cases, so we’ve already surpass the total tally for the month of August…. These rates are rates that we’re not accustomed to. It therefore means we have more active cases than ever before, and therefore means that our isolation facilities are overwhelmed.”
In making the call for the public to help reduce the burden on the island’s health care system, Dr. Best noted that one of the main goals of a physician “is to save lives”.
“Vaccines are safe and effective. Vaccines will reduce transmission yes, but more importantly, it will reduce the severity of disease. Right now, we’re seeing just about 40 per cent of the total population being vaccinated, more people are coming forward and getting vaccinated, even people who are hesitant and skeptical before…”Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anton Best
“…If you are exposed to somebody who may have had COVID or somebody who definitely has COVID, we need you to come forward and get tested. If you’re diagnosed with COVID, we need you to isolate.
“If it’s home isolation, we need you to adhere to all of the protocols and guidelines and laws, in terms of staying home and isolating. Isolation is to your advantage, but it’s also to the advantage of the community and to the public health, because it limits your interaction and your ability to spread COVID-19 to others,” Dr. Best urged.
The acting Chief Medical Officer pointed out that two main ways to help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases are to take the vaccines and follow the non-pharmaceutical interventions, that is, the protocols.
He said: “Vaccines are safe and effective. Vaccines will reduce transmission yes, but more importantly, it will reduce the severity of disease. Right now, we’re seeing just about 40 per cent of the total population being vaccinated, more people are coming forward and getting vaccinated, even people who are hesitant and skeptical before….
“We want to continue to encourage that, but for us to get through this pandemic, we need more people to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The other thing is, we need people to understand the other non-pharmaceutical interventions that are stipulated and that are recommended. So, we don’t want people liming, partying. We don’t want people breaking the law; we need to limit interactions of people, so we can contain the spread as best as possible.”
He also stated that many persons were breaking the established protocols, which are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“While we are out to all from the Ministry of Health and the QEH perspective, we need the cooperation. We need the assistance of the public of Barbados in this endeavour…. We need for people to understand the seriousness of this pandemic; this pandemic is a deadly pandemic,” Dr. Best stressed.