Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde. (FP)

The Home Help Programme, which provides daily support to senior citizens and other vulnerable persons in Barbados, has not been closed but remains operational.

This was made clear by Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde, today, who said that her Ministry was acting on the advice of the public health officials within the Ministry of Health and Wellness, who have not recommended the programme’s closure.

She explained that, on the advice of the Acting Chief Medical Officer, the Ministry had closed the administrative office of the National Assistance Board (NAB) at Country Road, St. Michael, after five staff members stationed there tested positive for COVID-19 this month.

Since then, testing of all NAB employees, from all locations, has commenced. One worker in the Home Help Programme has tested positive and her source of contact was traced to an already identified case at the head office.

So far, 230 NAB employees have tested negative for the viral illness, out of a total of 236 completed tests. Efforts are continuing to contact the remaining employees so that the testing process can be concluded as quickly as possible, she added.

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