Testing for the COVID-19 virus at Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) never stopped.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, cleared the air on the discontinuation of testing at GAIA, during a COVID-19 and Post-Hurricane Recovery press conference from Ilaro Court, yesterday, stating it is not true.
“We did about 1,675 tests between last night (Thursday) and this morning because we have a large number of persons coming into the country, and a large number of persons who had to be tested as a result of contact tracing. Of those figures, we yielded 11 positive cases, six males and five females….
“I hope that this will end the social media information that has been circulated suggesting that there was no testing or testing was discontinued at the Grantley Adams international airport yesterday. That is obviously not true,” Minister Bostic reported.
In addition, the Minister for Health reported that as a result of testing and contact tracing conducted, four cases were “picked up” at the Grantley Adams International Airport.
He noted that staff at the airport are being treated in the same way that all primary contacts are treated. “They are in hotel quarantine and they are being tested in accordance with the protocols, so persons would have started to be tested, first test from yesterday, some will start today obviously because of the additional case that we had today, and then they’ll be tested on day five, before they are release from quarantine, but they’re placed in hotel quarantine,” Mr. Bostic said.
To continue testing at the GAIA, a decision was made yesterday to transfer staff working at the Gymnasium to the airport.
To offset the shortage of staff at the Gymnasium testing site, additional persons were brought in, to be able to maintain the services at the gymnasium, which predominantly provides COVID-19 tests for outbound passengers.
Also, during the update, Minister Bostic disclosed that out of the 1,675 tests conducted last night and this morning, he was able to report that the first test of all members of the cricket teams, West Indies and Australia, as well as all of the support staff and the media staff came back negative.
When asked to speak on the number of clusters the Ministry is observing, the Minister conveyed that there are about 10 clusters, most of which were dormant at the moment. “There’s nothing much that has happened there in recent days,” he reported.
Mr. Bostic however revealed that the Ministry, over the last 24 to 36 hours, was monitoring a situation involving a number of Barbadians who would have gone abroad to participate in an event and had returned to the island.
“We will continue to follow over the next couple of days, and I will be able to speak to that when we have details, but we are trying to be ahead of the game where that is concerned,” stated the Health and Wellness Minister.