Private doctors in Barbados will soon be administering COVID-19 vaccines.
This announcement came from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley today, as she addressed the nation, from Ilaro Court.
Ms. Mottley told the country: “The Minister of Health, this morning, also issued a directive to his officials that as a matter of policy, the Government of Barbados now will extend the opportunity to private doctors to help also in the vaccination campaign. And that is absolutely critical, if we are to meet where we want to go….
“We … have been meeting with BAMP, such that those private doctors who will be brought on board, the Government will pay them to be able to administer the vaccine, so that they do not have to charge any citizen either for the vaccine or for… administering the vaccine on any patient….”
The Prime Minister noted that because of the increasing numbers in quarantine and isolation, the Ministry of Health officials had settled on a home quarantine and home isolation policy, which would now have to be rolled out. She stressed, however, that there would be massive public education on the policy.
“It will only be permitted for extremely low risk persons, not medium risk, not high risk, but those persons who predominantly are minimal risk to themselves and minimal risk to the country….
“The information on home isolation and home quarantine will be made available to you and the criteria for it, which will require security guards, or alternatively persons may say, I don’t want a security guard; I prefer to have a monitoring bracelet as well as a CCTV camera as well as the periodic checking of the Ministry of Health persons,” she said.
Ms. Mottley stated that mobile community vaccine stations were being set up in various areas over the next few days. She pointed out that two were in Deacons Farm and Silver Hill today, and they would be in the Pine Housing Area and Haynesville on Friday.
New Orleans in St. Michael, and Maynards Housing Area, St. Peter, will be the stops on Saturday, while Bush Hall and Orange Hill, in St. James will be Sunday’s destinations. Next Monday, they will visit Carrington Village and Ellerton.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said an increasing number of Barbadians were relying on social media to get their information, which could be as enlightening as it could be misleading. Therefore, she continued, a national COVID-19 Public Information Advisor would be appointed, along with an established PR firm.
She pointed out that they would work daily with the health communications team, the Public Affairs Department and the Barbados Government Information Service, since Government needed to significantly expand the vaccine conversation in a shorter period of time.
“We will make the announcement as to who that person is … when we settle the arrangements with that person. As you know, I go back into Cabinet this evening and will settle the arrangements, I hope, with the person, this weekend. Similarly, we also accept that those persons will also help us in the engagement with NGOs, with sporting groups, with almost every demographic in this country,” she added.
Ms. Mottley also disclosed that in light of the increasing COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean, she had written to Chairman of CARICOM, Gaston Browne, who is also the Prime Minister of Antigua, for an urgent Heads of Government meeting.
“The reality is that the evidence is showing that the Caribbean is red hot, as we speak. And the reality also is that in being hot, what it means is that countries are under pressure,” she surmised.