Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s address to the nation – February 2, 2021. (PMO)

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has called on the public to use the “period of “national pause”, from February 3 to 17, for pause, rest, reflection and renewal of self.

In an address to the nation today, Ms. Mottley said it would not be business as usual going forward and therefore urged persons to use this time wisely, as officials engage in the Seek and Save initiative to find any in the community with COVID-19, so that they can get the necessary life-saving treatment.

The Prime Minister told her audience: “This must be a period of pause; a period to rest; a period to reflect and a period to renew. There’s so much that we have to reflect on at the individual level, at the level of families I imagine too, but also at the level of community and country because it will not be business as usual going forward. We are not going to come out of it just like that….

“In pausing, this is not a time for liming, … and that’s why the beaches are not open in the afternoon, as many have asked….  The beach cannot be opened because this is now only for exercise and not for recreation. Similarly, others have asked for all other kinds of exemptions and we have had to say to persons look, we feel your pain, we feel your anxiety, but really and truly, this must be a period of pause.”

Ms. Mottley said some people were still not wearing masks and were gathering unnecessarily. She reminded that the real COVID-19 battle was not so much now in the formal areas of establishment, but in households and communities, where people were congregating.  

Therefore, she urged families not to let down their guard within their homes and encouraged persons to reduce their movements at this time. 

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has called on the public to use the “period of national pause”, from February 3 to 17, for pause, rest, reflection and renewal of self. (PMO)

Explaining that the “period of national pause”, with its restrictions, was not meant to unfair anyone, Ms. Mottley continued: “It is fundamentally about being able to stop this virus….

“Let me break it down as it was broken down for me, by the public health persons, … by one person not being careful, that can multiply within seven days to 4,096 persons [being infected by the virus].  Now I’m not trying to scare anybody, but I want us to be real,” she indicated.

The war against COVID-19, she insisted, will only be won if all members of the public are prepared to put in the effort to beat back the disease.  

She said persons could not “cheat” and expect to beat the virus, and urged all to wear their mask correctly, sanitise and maintain physical distancing.

During the address, the Prime Minister said Government would deploy a number of public address systems across the country so as to reach more people with messages about the disease.

“We need to reach as many people as possible…. As I drove through the country, as I looked at markets, shops and other areas, for the most part, we are still not quite where we need to be. For sure there are a lot more people wearing masks today than were before. But, do we have enough? Probably not.  We need to redouble our efforts,” she proffered.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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