Press conference hosted by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley at Ilaro Court – June 19, 2021. (PMO)

While four persons have been treated and discharged for two variants of COVID-19, there has been no local transmission of these variants.

This was emphasised today by Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, when he joined Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, at Ilaro Court, to update the nation on the island’s response to the pandemic, over the last three to four months.

Minister Bostic, recalling that several weeks ago the country was informed of the presence of the Alpha/ B111 variant, after being confirmed by CARPHA last year, said subsequent samples more or less indicated the same thing – that Barbados still had a few cases with the Alpha variant.

However, reporting on another variant – the Delta Variant B16172- he noted that samples sent to CARPHA confirmed three positive cases.

“Two of those positive cases, a father and an eight-year-old son, who arrived in country on April 21, they were placed straight into quarantine at a designated quarantine hotel. They were tested positive on April 25, having arrived on April 21. Those samples would have been sent to CARPHA and we would have received information that they were positive for the Delta variant on June 11,” the Health Minister stated.

Adding that the other confirmed Delta variant case was a person who arrived here on May 14 and tested positive on May 24, he accounted for the gap by explaining that the person had arrived as part of a group and a member of that group had tested positive at an earlier time and so that extended the quarantine period for this particular person.

Further elaborating, he said: “So that June 1, we would have sent samples to CARPHA and we would have been notified officially on June 16 of the Delta variant here, in this case. Once again, this person went from the airport straight to a designated quarantine hotel and from a quarantine hotel straight to isolation at Harrison Point.”

The final case was identified as having the Gamma/P1 variant. Minister Bostic said the individual arrived on May 17; tested positive on May 22; the sample was sent off on June 1, and was confirmed on June 16.

Minister Bostic stressed that all four persons who tested positive for these two variants of concern had subsequently been discharged from Harrison Point and there were no identified cases of those variants within the local community.

In emphasising the importance of this, while also complimenting the designated hotels, which he noted followed all protocols, the Health Minister said: “What this demonstrates is that the measures that were put in place, particularly, our entry protocols have worked well for us.  And, I want to give credit to all those persons who were associated with that. From the time these persons tested positive, aggressive contact tracing started and we were able to complete that without any additional positives at that time.”

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