COVID-19 update and press conference – February 17, 2021. (PMO)

There are currently 45 persons resident at Barbados’ primary and secondary isolation facilities, where care is being provided for those with COVID-19.

This was revealed by Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, as he provided an update on isolation facilities during today’s press conference at Ilaro Court.

While noting that these facilities have a capacity of 78 beds, Minister Bostic said: “But what I want to stress to you is that we have been expanding our isolation capacity, and of course, the critical beds are always the ones that we have to be very careful with, and by expanding the capacity, there are a lot of things that have been going on. For example, we have been making some transfers from Harrison Point to some of the other facilities and trying to focus at Harrison Point on those persons whom we deem to be very ill … obviously symptomatic.

“We are always keeping our eyes on the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) bed capacity, and we believe that at this point that we are still in a good place. But, if we reach the point where we think that we could become compromised or overwhelmed, then we will have to take some other decisions, but at this time we are okay … in terms of isolation capacity generally, and we can expand as required.”

Meanwhile, the Minister, in providing an update on the nursing home that has now been designated an isolation facility because of the number of COVID-19 cases there, confirmed that the recent deaths of two elderly persons were linked to that facility.  

He reiterated that as an isolation facility, it was now being managed by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and the Ministry was still in the process of doing some work there, with some nurses already on board and the Executive Director of the QEH having met with the home’s management and owner today to iron out a few issues.

“We are going to take it over, and we’ve started the process of doing so, to make it an isolation facility, meaning that the resources for the facility in terms of PPE (personal protective equipment), equipment, feeding, nursing, doctors and so forth will be provided by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and in some cases with some support from the Ministry of Health and Wellness. And, we are also providing a public health doctor, a medical officer of health to help guide the process from a public health perspective,” the Health Minister stated.

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