COVID-19 update and press conference – February 17, 2021. (PMO)

Three seniors are the latest persons to have died as a result of COVID-19.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, in a statement this morning, announced two women ages 88 and 74, and a 73-year-old man passed away yesterday. 

As he extended condolences to the bereaved families, he also expressed sadness at the passing of a nine-year-old girl on February 14 – the first child to have died due to COVID-19 complications. 

He confirmed that the girl, whom he referred to as “Child A”, suffered from Multi- System Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), a new, uncommon and serious condition brought on by the virus.

“Every day, scientists are gaining new knowledge about COVID-19 and its sequelae. The MIS-C syndrome has been described in literature published by the Mayo Clinic as an excessive immune response related to the COVID-19, and is seen in children who had COVID, but who have recovered from it,” Minister Bostic explained. 

“This matter was very traumatic for all medical and other personnel involved and we continue to hold the family, friends and school fraternity of this child in our prayers. The QEH fought hard to save this child,” he added. 

Lieutenant Colonel Bostic also admonished purveyors of misinformation surrounding her death, pointing out that “given Child A’s symptoms and the management of her case, medical personnel wanted to review all of their findings, before full confirmation of her cause of death could be shared with the public.  

Today’s notification is therefore consistent with the Ministry’s practice of counting and publishing every COVID-related death in Barbados”.

He also made an impassioned plea for the younger demographic not to become complacent. 

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic is urging young Barbadians not to play Russian Roulette with their lives with regard to COVID-19. (PMO)

“The Ministry also warned that people of all age groups can become infected with COVID.  Indeed, the recent deaths of middle-aged persons, and now this child, would be testimony of the threat the viral illness poses to younger people.

“You may wish to be aware that as of yesterday, there were 40 minors in the island’s isolation facilities – 17 females and 23 males. So, the young people who feel they should not stay home or wear masks and that they can keep socialising are playing Russian Roulette with their lives and others,” the Health Minister warned. 

Additionally, he urged individuals to maintain the COVID-19 safety protocols as a means of reducing the chances of the virus being unknowingly transmitted within the home environment. 

“You will recall that when Barbados met the international criteria for being described as having community spread, the Ministry cautioned that transmission of the viral illness within homes was a very real risk. This became increasingly evident in the spate of recent cases and deaths involving seniors who were not active socially,” he said.

“If a person is at home awaiting a test result, we’re asking persons in the same household to remain at home until those results have been returned,” Minister Bostic added, assuring that the Best-dos Santos Public Health laboratory was working assiduously to return test results. 

The Health Minister gave the reassurance that Government was working relentlessly to combat the spread of the viral illness through Operation Seek and Save, aggressive contact tracing, reinforcing the safety protocols and its National Vaccination Programme.

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