COVID-19 update and press conference – February 10, 2021. (PMO)

The Seek and Save Campaign is already reaping success, with five persons who were identified through the initiative testing positive for COVID-19, and now in isolation at the Blackman and Gollop isolation facility. 

Senior Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Anton Best, made this disclosure this evening as he participated in the COVID-19 press conference, where the presenters examined the national roll out of the vaccine for the virus.

Dr. Best said that as of yesterday, under the Seek and Save Campaign, officials flagged 206 households, which equate to 236 persons, based on questions asked about possible COVID-19 symptoms.

“When we dug deeper, we decided to only conduct tests on those who had symptoms…in keeping with COVID….  We conducted 105 rapid tests as well as standard tests that have been sent to the lab, [and] out of the 105 rapid tests, five have been positive. Those five were diagnosed yesterday….

“When those five persons were diagnosed, they were informed, and they have been transported to the isolation facility at Blackman and Gollop,” he stated.

Explaining the process from when the information is captured in the field by students, he said members of the outreach team, led by Dr. David Byer, do a telephone triage, where they call and ask those who reported symptoms to elaborate on their comments.

“So, we have whittled down those numbers to…236 persons of interest for testing. So, we have only done a portion of those that we have identified for testing and that have agreed to be tested…,” he said.

Senior Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Anton Best, listening to a question from the media during the COVID-19 update and press conference at Ilaro Court today. (PMO)

The Senior Medical Officer expressed the view that the seek and safe project has been successful in reaching households. He said the Ministry was trying to identify persons with COVID-19 and once they were tested, diagnosed with the disease, and isolated, the contact tracing efforts would start.

He noted, however, that the seek and save initiative was not the only strategy being used by the Ministry of Health and Government to address the pandemic.

Dr. Best reminded Barbadians that the virus affects all ages in society, even though Government has been placing emphasis on persons over 60 years and those with comorbidities, such as diabetes, hypertension, or renal disease.

“If you only focus exclusively on them (the vulnerable and those over 60 years), we are not going to break the chain of transmission. So, we also focus on young people who are vulnerable from the point of view that they can get infected with COVID and transmit it to those persons who are more vulnerable, such as their parents, grandparents, and elderly folks in the household, or in the community.

“So, it is an important message that children and young people are still vulnerable; they are still part of the problem and part of the solution, in terms of breaking transmission chains across Barbados,” Dr. Best indicated.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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