COVID-19 Czar, Richard Carter, is urging all Barbadians to let the first recorded death from the coronavirus be a sobering reflection about the potentially dangerous nature of COVID-19, and the risk of age and underlying health conditions.
He made this appeal today during a press conference to update the country on COVID-19 at Ilaro Court.
Mr. Carter suggested that the first release of patients, who have now emerged as cured of COVID-19, shows that the virus is not a death sentence and with care and appropriate treatment, patients can survive.
He also used the opportunity to clarify what is being classified as imported cases – those who have travelled overseas and returned home sick – and those infected with the disease locally.
The COVID-19 Czar explained that the majority of imported cases were Barbadian citizens “who were entitled to travel and return to their country of origin”.
“And we therefore want to draw this to the public’s attention because we do not want the impression to be created that cases are being imported in Barbados, particularly in respect of where we have heard a number of calls for the closure of our borders.”
Regarding the announcement of the procurement of equipment and readiness of facilities, Mr. Carter said these actions furthered Government’s commitment to ensuring that Barbados is as ready as it possibly could to treat persons with COVID-19.
He also said that the coming on board of several volunteer medical officials would “take some of the strain and pressure off our frontline healthcare workers by providing some of the medical support that we are delivering”.
The COVID-19 Czar continued: “it is important that we do everything possible not to put additional strain on our healthcare system by staying off the road and staying at home, and following the public health advice, which has been given at every opportunity that we have spoken.”
Mr. Carter said while on his way to join the press conference, he observed too many people still on the road and facilities prohibited from opening were conducting business, and customers were making purchases.
“We still continue to see a level of irresponsible behaviour albeit, from a minority of Barbadians …. This is a reminder that the virus thrives in exceptions. So, persons who failed to follow the advice, even though there may be a small minority, that minority is putting the rest of us at risk.”