COVID-19 update featuring Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic – October 3, 2021. (PMO)

Barbados has begun a Home Quarantine and Home Isolation Programme as a result of the challenges in dealing with the increasing number of persons with COVID-19 at the isolation facilities.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, stated this last evening, at Ilaro Court, during a COVID-19 Update.

“We’ve been having some challenges with the human resource component of our response, because we have … an entire health care system to deal with, and at times, we have to strike a balance between COVID healthcare requirements, and the general health care requirements of the population. And we don’t want to neglect one in favour of the other, but sometimes striking that balance is a challenge,” Minister Bostic stated.

He said new options for treatment and monitoring of persons with the viral illness had to be introduced.

“We’ve decided … if our isolation facilities are challenged and space becomes a problem, then we have to look at alternative means to be able to respond.  And that is what we’ve been doing. And we’ve alerted you before that we were considering and seriously so the implementation of home quarantine and home isolation, and I can say to you that, that is in progress as we speak. There are a number of persons who would have tested positive, and we are processing those persons to see who would qualify for home isolation, and those that would have to be institutionalised,” he disclosed.

The Health Minister noted that the triage process had commenced, and 591 persons had been assessed, out of a total of 680. He said of those 591 persons, 22 persons were referred to the Harrison’s Point Isolation Facility, with another 12 in the process of being sent there.

“And that is because we are trying desperately to ensure that we get those persons who require urgent or immediate medical attention out of their homes and into facilities so that they can be taken care of….  We are doing everything possible to save lives in this process,” he stressed.

Lt. Col. Bostic also disclosed what was being done to assist those COVID-19 positive persons who remain at home. “So, we have a team of medical personnel, doctors and so on, who have been contacting these persons on a daily basis, and we will continue with that form of assessment.  [We are] also using telemedicine to be able to deal with any situations that may come up.

“We are also in the process, from tomorrow, of rolling out an initiative in which we will be giving to those persons the thermometer, as well as a pulse oximeter, so that we will be able to keep track on how they are progressing on their condition at home. And this is what we have to do over the next few weeks in order to really arrest this new development because this is the first time that we’ve had such a challenge at our isolation facilities,” he said.

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