The public is being urged to adhere to the health measures in place to fight COVID-19.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, made this plea, and for persons to get vaccinated, during a COVID-19 update from Ilaro Court, this evening.

“Those persons who are unvaccinated are the ones who are displaying the symptoms that concern us as a country.  And so, I’m urging people to do so; come forward and be vaccinated.  I also want to stress the importance of adhering to all of the other public health measures.  

“This is not a time for doing foolishness.  This is not a time for dropping the guard.  This is not a time for thinking that we are immune.  This is not the time for thinking that we are superhuman; this thing will get us in the same way it is getting other countries, if we do not fight and fight with all of the weapons at our disposal,” Minister Bostic stressed.

He noted that the majority of COVID-19 cases, according to the data collected, are being seen for the most part in factories, warehouses and distribution centres.  “These are the places where we are seeing the most of the cases and the spread, and of course, then it impacts other areas as well.”

Lt. Col. Bostic said that going forward, Government, through the Ministry of Health and Wellness, had been implementing some contingency plans, as part of its surge planning.  This includes the setting up of a field hospital at Harrison Point in St. Lucy, and other isolation facilities.

The Health Minister noted: “There’s a building outside of Harrison Point, which we have not been using.  We refurbished that building; it was intended to be a testing site initially, and we were also going to use it as a screening facility for the isolation centre.  That has now been outfitted with beds and everything to be able to take some additional cases if necessary.

“And recognising especially that the work we are trying to do in the secondary isolation, which is installing oxygen and other things in there, to be able to make that more of a primary facility than secondary, that has dislocated some persons and so we’ve had to make some adjustments, so we are utilising that as well.  And we also have the capacity for placing another large tent, at Harrison Point, if necessary, in order to take some additional persons.”

Speaking about the contingency plans in place, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley stated: “We are using Blackman and Gollop again.  Yes, we will have other facilities as necessary, … [We] started to look at other facilities, as well as the opportunity for paid isolation, just like we have paid wards, because we recognise that the government sponsored isolation may become challenged, and we may have to do isolation as we did earlier in the year….

“What we have discussed today is that we may reach a point as well, where we will allow where possible … people in private isolation, but they will have to have security; pay for security to watch them, and also be subject to private medical care, which we will arrange separately.  But we hope we don’t have to get fully there. But we’re putting all precautions in place to ensure that we can meet the needs of all Barbadians, as far as possible.” 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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