The Ministry of Health and Wellness has assured residents in the vicinity of the St. Lucy District Hospital at River Bay that the quarantine centre established there poses no threat to the public.
Residents complained in an article in today’s Daily Nation headlined River Bay Rumble about the proximity of the quarantine centre to their homes.
In response, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, said: “I wish to make it clear that persons who are placed in quarantine are not ill. No one exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent to the St. Lucy District Hospital. The quarantine centre is for well persons who have arrived in Barbados after being in China during the previous 14 days.”
He explained that these travellers are screened and then placed in quarantine, either at home or at the centre, depending on the level of risk of exposure as determined by the public health officers at the ports of entry.
During the 14 days of quarantine, they are monitored daily by public health nurses, and if anyone exhibits symptoms during the period, they will be immediately clinically assessed and transferred to the Isolation Centre at Enmore, where they will be tested for COVID-19, Dr. George stated.
The Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health further explained that in order to be infected, persons would have to be in very close contact, within one to two metres of the person exhibiting symptoms. “No property within that district is near enough to be contaminated, if symptoms do occur,” he added.
Dr. George also disclosed that the Ministry would be securing the entire compound with fencing and would continue to make sure that staff at the centre observe all the protocols established to ensure public safety.