Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic said Barbadians cannot afford to get complacent and must continue to follow COVID-19 protocols and public health measures. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Sixty-four per cent of all COVID-19 cases have been concentrated along the urban corridor of Barbados.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, made this disclosure this morning as he accepted another batch of medical supplies from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to aid in the country’s COVID-19 fight.

Lt. Col. Bostic explained that the high percentage of cases on this geographical stretch correlated with the fact that the urban corridor accounted for 61 per cent of Barbados’ population.  

He pointed out that the corridor did not only include St. Michael, a densely populated parish, but also the West Coast and Christ Church.

This is just one of the findings that have come out of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ contact tracing efforts. Additionally, health authorities have been going into high risk communities over the past two to three weeks to intercept the spread of the virus.

The Health Minister added that there were also cases popping up outside of the urban corridor, particularly in families.

“We plan, going forward, to intensify our campaign within communities in Barbados because we believe that is what has helped us in the last two to three weeks. We’ve started to target some of the communities where we are seeing cases springing up, especially family cases, where we have been having some large families as well.”

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic

“We plan, going forward, to intensify our campaign within communities in Barbados because we believe that is what has helped us in the last two to three weeks. We’ve started to target some of the communities where we are seeing cases springing up, especially family cases, where we have been having some large families as well. One of the initiatives which we have introduced is to quarantine persons who have relatives that have been positive,” Lt. Col. Bostic stated, citing a case where one person in a family of 29 tested positive for COVID-19 and the other family members were quarantined at government designated facilities.

He continued: “So, we quarantined the entire family and through that procedure we were able to pick up some additional cases. But we had those persons in quarantine. I believe that is what has contributed to the containment of the spread of the disease, and that is something that we’ve been doing ever since we started two weeks ago, or so.”

While stating that “things have been going the way we really wanted them to go, which is a downward trajectory in our numbers”, Minister Bostic warned Barbadians not to get too complacent, as he reiterated the words of Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley on Thursday, saying that the country was not yet “out of the woods”.  

He pointed out that the numbers were still high as far as the Ministry was concerned, even though the positivity rate for the last five days was less than five per cent.

He said that while he would’ve preferred not to have had the measures relaxed for more businesses to reopen next week, it had to be done for socio-economic reasons, so people could “live and work”.

“We are happy [regarding the downward trend in cases] but we must guard against what is ahead of us. We must not become complacent. We must continue to follow the protocols and the public health measures that have been put in place. We must do that even more so now because we are opening up a bit more; more people are going to work. We count on each and every person residing in this country, national and non-national to do what is right; follow the protocols … be vigilant and be our brother’s keeper,” he emphasised.

melissa.rollock@barbados.gov.bb

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