Chief Medical Officer, Dr. The Most Honourable Kenneth George, speaking at today’s COVID-19 update and press conference. (Prime Minister’s Office)

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. The Most Honourable Kenneth George, has reported a 19 per cent reduction in new COVID-19 infections over the last week, in comparison with the previous seven-day period.

He made the disclosure today during a COVID-19 update and press conference to apprise the public of the removal of the daily curfew and other measures contained in the new Directive, which take effect from Monday, February 14.

Dr. George shared that the seven-day cumulative incidence was currently 1,206 cases per 100,000 population, and the daily average number of cases was 495, down from a daily average of 692 two weeks ago. He further stated that the R Effective as of Friday, February 11. was 0.84.

The CMO reasoned that although there was a downward trajectory in the island’s positivity rate from a high of 26 per cent to approximately 23.4 per cent, there was room for improvement. 

Dr. George also touched on the current vaccination rate and reported that over 50 per cent of the island’s population had been vaccinated, with the percentage of the eligible population who can receive the jab “as high as 65 per cent”.

He was also pleased to report that the uptake of boosters had improved, with 57 per cent of the eligible population receiving their booster shots.    

The Chief Medical Officer added: “Let me reiterate that the current approved vaccines continue to provide good protection against severe disease and death. How each country responds must be informed by its local epidemiological situation, available resources, impact on the healthcare systems, vaccination status and uptake and within the wider socio economic context. It is within this context that I support the changes made to the current directive.”

He continued: “As Minister said, we support the changes fully. However, personal responsibility and good judgement are critical for us to get out of this current wave. We believe that based on information that we have, based on the disease profile in Barbados, that certainly, Omicron is highly contagious, and we are not shying away from that. But fortunately, you have ways to protect yourselves.”

The CMO cautioned that we were not yet out of the current situation and encouraged all Barbadians to keep their guard up and continue to cooperate with the health authorities by observing the protocols.

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