Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s address to the nation – January 26, 2021. (PMO)

All persons over the age of 70 should remain at home for the next three weeks, unless it is absolutely necessary for them to leave to go in search of medical care, or purchase food supplies or medicine because of dire circumstances.

This request came tonight from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley during an address to the nation, where she outlined further measures Government would be putting in place to get a better handle of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Ms. Mottley welcomed and endorsed the appeal issued earlier by the President of the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) for seniors to stay at home, wherever practical and possible.

Speaking directly to the elderly, whom she described as the country’s most vulnerable group, the Prime Minister stated: “You need to protect yourself.  And importantly, I am saying to you, we need to protect you, and we shall….

“For now, let it be noted that all persons over 70 should remain at home, unless urgent circumstances warrant….  Urgent in this instance, does not include funerals. I want to stress that, but in any event, funerals and other events will come back down to where they were with respect to earlier protocols.”

Ms. Mottley urged elderly persons to reach out to family members and close friends to assist them with any errands. She said that after further consultation with different elements of the Social Partnership, her ministers and different government agencies, over the next few days, would clarify specific details they want the nation to follow.

In the past seven days, she said, Barbados had lost three elderly people to the virus. “The circumstances have pained me greatly.  They did not break any law; they did not flagrantly abuse any protocol or guidelines; they did not even leave their homes.

“In fact, I have said that they didn’t catch COVID, COVID caught them. None of the three of them went to COVID, COVID came to them. This has given me sleepless nights, and my fear is that COVID will not stop, until we as a nation stop COVID. COVID will not stop unless we declare war on COVID, and in fact, I would like to add to it dengue. Our fight back therefore must intensify, as of this evening,” she stressed.

The Prime Minister told her audience that over the past two days she had consulted with various persons, including public health practitioners, Cabinet Sub-Committee, Social Partnership, the opposition parties and a diverse group.

She urged Barbadians to recommit to doing all those things they did in the early days of the virus, to protect themselves and their elderly family.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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