COVID-19 press briefing with COVID-19 Public Advisor David Ellis featuring Dr. Corey Forde, Dr. Kenneth George, and Dr. Adanna Grandison – September 29, 2021. (PMO)

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is investigating 158 family clusters as officials report a steady upward trend in the COVID-19 indicators.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, made the revelation today as he updated the country on the COVID-19 situation during a press briefing at Ilaro Court.

He disclosed that not all of the reported clusters were active, and explained that a cluster was not closed by health authorities until after a two-week period had passed, and contact tracing was still ongoing.

Dr. George also informed the nation that currently, there were 554 individuals in quarantine and according to him “this may just be the tip of the iceberg”.

“Most of those individuals are primary contacts and therefore, those primary contacts will lead to contact tracing….  Barbadians, we are not in a good place infection is widespread. We are seeing on a daily basis…even in today’s paper, persons are not heeding the calls of public health officials. They continue to not wear masks in public places; they continue to socialise in close proximity to each other and the issue is that the vaccine uptake is not where we would like.”

He further stated: “When we tell the public that those 70 deaths are unvaccinated individuals…this is the truth. We in the Ministry of Health are not, at any point in time, either inflating numbers or deflating numbers; we come to you with the truth. It is very unfortunate when we put in the public space that individuals who have died so far have been unvaccinated there is generally a push back from members of the public.” 

Dr. George urged all Barbadians who had not yet considered taking the vaccine or who were on the fence, to come forward. 

“We have tried to expand our community-based work; we have ramped up our testing within our mobile units and we continue to do vaccinations among shut-ins in Barbados. We honestly need your help. We can beat this… We are in a difficult place, but I have been a very optimistic person and I believe that the team is extremely committed. We will work on your behalf, but we really encourage you as a people to step forward in this fight,” he said.

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