COVID-19 update and press conference – Saturday, January 23, 2021. (PMO)

Protect your families!

This is the strong appeal from Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, to members of the public who may have engaged in activities which exposed them to COVID-19, but are hesitant to come forward to be tested early.

“What we have noticed over the last few weeks is that there are persons who are presenting to a medical facility at a stage, which we would consider to be an advanced stage of displaying symptoms, and those persons would have been at home with family members.

“… If you are living with family members who are elderly, but family members in general, if you know that you have been exposed because of places you visit, places you frequent, then the appeal is for persons to try to protect their own families first and foremost,” he urged.

Lieutenant Colonel Bostic made the comments today during a COVID-19 update and press conference. He said health officials believed that there were some persons who might not be presenting early to be tested because of “a fear” of going into an isolation facility.

“If you love your loved ones, your families, …it is best that we get to them at an early enough stage, …treat them at the facility and … help them to continue with their lives after COVID,” he stressed.

During the update, in which he announced there was community transmission of the virus on island, the Minister said it was now necessary to further tighten restrictions.  

He stated that such a decision would be taken in consultation with the wider Social Partnership, and would be communicated in the coming days, by the Prime Minister.

“We have made some recommendations in terms of tightening up.  But we are focusing at this point on trying to deal with what is before us, which is to try to identify those persons who…have symptoms in particular, to try to treat them at an early stage, and to increase the capacity for everything that we are doing,” he said.

Minister Bostic attributed Barbados’ earlier success in fighting the virus to the established protocols and the cooperation of all citizens. He highlighted the significant role the media played in educating the population about the virus and the protocols.

“This is not an effort for the Ministry that I have responsibility for alone; it is not for the Government alone; this is for all of us….  It’s not about the plan; it is about all of us working the plan,” he insisted.

The Minister urged the public to follow the protocols, which include the regular sanitising of hands, wearing masks and engaging in physical distancing of six feet.

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