Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s address to the nation – April 22, 2021. (PMO)

Cases of COVID-19 among security personnel at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, as well as cases discovered at a day nursery, have been linked to a cluster from a church in the north of the island.

This was divulged this evening by Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, as he gave an update on the COVID-19 situation, during an address to the nation.

Stressing that the link existed between the cluster of security guards and the church from the north, the Health Minister noted that a total of 11 positive cases had been identified from the security guard section at the hospital.  

He also added that there were three cases from the day nursery, and all were being managed, at this point in time, with people being tested and awaiting second test results.

Though pleased that members of the church had come forward to be tested, Minister Bostic, nonetheless, denounced their behaviour and its impact on the country.

He stressed: “Some of those persons actually tested positive and have been part of the statistics that we’ve been giving out over the last few days. And, I say thank you to them, because really and truly, if we are to successfully navigate this course, in terms of COVID-19, then we depend on each and every one of us to be able to play our part.

“And, we continue to be affected negatively by the fallout from the positive cases coming from that church. And, I can only describe that kind of behaviour and what we have observed as being irresponsible and reckless; it’s behaviour that we cannot tolerate; behaviour that we would not like to see happening again in this country, where all of us are being put at risk.”

Meanwhile, providing the latest statistics for COVID-19, the Health Minister pointed out that there were nine cases out of a total of 365 tests conducted at the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory, and 84 persons remained in isolation.

Expressing satisfaction at the continued downward trend, he declared that the statistics were consistent with what had been happening over the last several days, and that he was happy to report that for the past seven days, the positivity rate was around two per cent.

“And this is encouraging news, although we still would like to see it below that. I also want to say that one of our goals, which was to reach 25 cases per 100,000 [of the] population that we are now averaging around 39, which is below what was reported the last time that we spoke to you.”

Minister Bostic, who reiterated that Barbados was going in the right direction but there was still some work to be done, said: “I’m just appealing to everyone and to all organisations, irrespective of your discipline, or your calling to follow the public health protocols, and to report any matters to authorities, so that we can deal with them quickly.”

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