Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, is encouraging all Barbadians to examine the COVID-19 situation response by prison authorities to contain it swiftly, as the inspiration to bring the current pandemic under control.
He made this appeal today during a press conference via Zoom as he recounted that the ability to bring the situation under control depended on the prison’s “vigilance and discipline with both the prison officers and the inmate population, while we were under this crisis”.
Mr. Abrahams implored Barbadians who are experiencing any symptoms to heed the warnings of the Minister of Health, the COVID-19 Communications Unit and the Ministry of Health and Wellness to seek help early, and save their lives.
He stated: “Even now, we are constantly monitoring for symptoms. If somebody displays symptoms, we catch them very early and do the testing or enforce the protocols to make sure that if somebody needs treatment, that they get that treatment immediately.
“So, it is not by accident that nobody got seriously ill at the prison. It is not by accident that we were able to get it under control and the Minister of Health and the COVID Communications Unit and the Ministry of Health keeps appealing to Barbadians that if you have symptoms, deal with your symptoms early…alert the health authorities early because the earlier you catch and deal with your symptoms, the better chance you have at survival or minimising the effects of this virus on you and the better chance you have of protecting those around you. It worked very well in the prison with the early identification of any symptomology and treating those with symptoms very, very quickly.”
Mr. Abrahams added that the COVID-19 situation in the prison represented a microcosm of what was occurring in society and urged the public not to lose the lessons that the pandemic crisis has taught us.
The Minister also advised the public not to ignore the things that worked, and pleaded with them to pay attention to their bodies and their health.
“If you feel something is wrong, contact your doctor; contact the Ministry of Health; contact the COVID Hotline…let them guide you. If you believe that you have been exposed and you are positive, then go and get treatment from early. Let your family and your close contacts get tested, if required, so that they can deal with it early as well to control the spread.”
He further urged Barbadians to continue following the protocols, and to ensure that they wash and sanitise their hands frequently; wear their masks, and be responsible for themselves.