COVID-19 Update and Press Conference – June 26, 2021. (PMO)

About 19 COVID-related matters went before the law courts during the last week.

This disclosure came this evening from Head of the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit, Ronald Chapman, during a COVID-19 update and press conference.

Mr. Chapman told the media: “Of those 19 COVID-related matters, we had seven convictions, eight adjournments, and four persons did not show for court, and the fines ranged between $500 and $2,000.”

He expressed the view that it was easier to follow the protocols than run afoul of the law, and urged Barbadians to comply with the COVID-19 procedures, which were put in place to safeguard them.

The COVID-19 Monitoring Unit Head said a number of protocols had been put in place at workplaces, with emphasis on protecting clients from staff and vice versa. 

He highlighted temperature checks, hand washing and sanitisation and physical distancing, as some of the measures that had been put in place.

However, he noted that there was still transmission of the virus in the workplace. “When there are no clients and the staff are in the back, the staff treat each other as though they are part of each other’s bubble.  And this is where we are finding the transmission; this is where we are finding the lapsing in protocols and … we are asking persons please do not drop your guard in your workplace,” he pleaded.

Mr. Chapman said as the COVID-19 cases continued to decline in the country, a number of persons were becoming complacent.  

However, he warned against such complacency, reminding that the Ministry of Health and Wellness was currently dealing with two family clusters and another at a manufacturing establishment.

“COVID hasn’t gone anywhere. I’m not sure if it’s going anywhere anytime soon. It may go away in Barbados, but in the rest of the world it is still there, which means that at some point in time we may see a flare up again.  But that is not what we want and that is why we are asking persons to follow the protocols….

“COVID is completely fluid…and because it’s fluid, things change at the drop of a dime. So, we cannot afford to take our guard down. Nobody wants another lockdown; nobody wants to have curfews; nobody wants to have restrictions, but if we don’t want those things, then we need to follow protocols,” he stressed.

Mr. Chapman noted that Government would be allowing events with a maximum of 150 patrons, but said the logistics were still being worked out. However, he urged persons attending those events to be responsible.

He pointed out that the country was in a good position right now, and said officials wanted that trend to continue.

He asked residents to take responsibility for their actions, and to encourage others to engage in behaviours that would not spread the virus.

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