COVID-19 update and question and answer session – January 04, 2021. (PMO)

Chairman of the Cabinet’s COVID-19 Sub-committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, has reported on the status of suspected COVID-19 cases at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

Minister Walcott, speaking during a COVID-19 update to the nation at Ilaro Court, last night, noted that two nurses from the Medical Intensive Care Unit, who attended the bus crawl had been tested, in addition to 36 other persons – doctors and nurses. He said there were no reported positive cases from that sample. 

Referring to the Respiratory Unit, which has been closed, he said the two nurses, who man that unit were swabbed, and they were awaiting results. Also, there was a patient of a sister who tested positive, which had nothing to do with the bus crawl.

In the case of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, one patient had been swabbed, and that patient is said to be the mother of a prison officer. “The patient has been screened off; patient care has continued with all the necessary contingency plans and awaiting the report,” Dr. Walcott said.

He also stated that the girlfriend of an employee from the Engineering Department, who attended the bus crawl, had tested positive for COVID-19.  As a result, all staff in that department were tested. 

Dr. Walcott mentioned that a doctor, who is normally assigned to the Accident and Emergency Department, was tested as a possible secondary contact to two positive cases. He said her first test was negative, and she was waiting to have her second test done.

In relation to a doctor consultant, who also serves as a prison doctor, he said he was “on home quarantine pending a second test, so he would’ve been tested as part of the persons at the prison”.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (FP)

Dr. Walcott stated there was an investigation into a patient in the Artificial Kidney Unit, who is a contact of a positive case in the community. That patient has been tested and is awaiting results.

He also said a patient in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, who was reported to have attended the bus crawl, was doing well and was dealt with at the Enmore Centre. 

The Enmore Centre, which was set up last year to handle patients who require surgery, provided obstetric treatment, in this case.

The Chairman of Cabinet’s COVID-19 Sub-committee stressed that everything had been done since last March to keep the QEH free from any COVID-19 incidents, however, he said staff of the QEH “are still entitled to go where they want to go in Barbados…. COVID is about risk assessment [and] risk management, and everyone will not have the same level of risk; it has to do with the exposure or contact”.

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