Two laboratory facilities will be put in place to assist the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory with COVID-19 testing, as Barbados prepares to welcome more visitors to its shores in coming months.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley made the announcement during a televised press conference at Ilaro Court this evening, while reiterating Government’s intention to invest more to strengthen the public lab’s capacity to detect the presence of new COVID-19 variants.
“Our reason why we are comfortable with giving the opportunities for vaccinated travellers and the testing is, as I have said, that we have seven PCR machines in the Best-dos Santos Lab; we have five automatic extractors and we have asked them to order two more. We have the lab that is likely to be established at one of the hotels and we have another lab that is likely to be established at one of our medical facilities. We also have in our possession 104,000 rapid PCR tests, and therefore, we feel that we are comfortable and ready to be able to handle what we need to handle,” the Prime Minister stated.
Ms. Mottley reasoned that had Government not taken decisions last February with respect to the construction of the Harrison Point Isolation Facility, Barbados would “be in a different position today given all that has transpired over the course of the last few months and the wisdom of that decision, quite frankly, is one of the strengths of our management of this entire process”.
The Prime Minister added that the management of COVID-19 would require the cooperation of all Barbadians.
“We can do this together and we can get back to a situation where our farmers can sell more of what they are producing because there are more persons on island who need to eat. We can get back to a situation where our taximen can start to move around again and be able to earn as such that they can pay their bills and take care of their families with dignity. Similarly, with our watersports operators, and our beach vendors and similarly with our hotels,” Ms. Mottley underlined.
She thanked Barbadians for cooperating with health officials and cautioned residents not to drop their guard.