The Barbadian public should now have a better understanding of the term community spread.
That is because the term was explained last night by acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anton Best, and COVID-19 Czar, Richard Carter.
During a press briefing after the Social Partnership meeting held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, both the acting CMO and the Czar addressed the question as to whether there was community spread of COVID-19 in Barbados.
“We defined community spread as a situation where we had a case that we could not link to an index case, a case that was unlinked,” Mr. Carter said.
He added that there were two cases where the Ministry of Health and Wellness, in its contact tracing, could not link those cases to an index case.
However, the Czar noted that those cases must not be taken out of proportion, because if those two cases suddenly remembered where they had been, and with contact tracing, could be linked to an index case, then that does not constitute community spread.
Mr. Carter highlighted that “we do not have on the basis of the wide-spread testing that we’ve conducted, more than one per cent of the population” having COVID-19.
Explaining further, Dr. Best said because of the two cases having no epidemiologic link, the layman jargon of community transmission was used.
He stressed that the World Health Organization had a stricter or more scientific definition of community spread.
“Where they say large numbers of persons who for whom you cannot attribute, or for whom you cannot give an explanation as to why they have it. And that is certainly not the case in Barbados”, Dr. Best said.
The acting CMO cautioned that the term community spread was an entire category, and Barbados was not in that category. “We are at the category of containment in terms of describing the epidemic in Barbados,” he said.