Barbados’ COVID-19 Czar, Richard Carter. (GP)

National Assistance Board Cluster

  • Following the identification of the cluster of cases at the National Assistance Board, the Ministry of Health & Wellness has, through contact tracing, identified 110 persons including the entire staff at the Country Road Office and their families who will go into mandatory quarantine at designated hotels. The period of quarantine will be 14 days from last exposure to a positive case – which for this group was 23 April, 2020.

  • The public health management of this event will involve the total staff complement at NAB of 238 persons being tested for COVID-19. To date 202 persons have been tested with the remaining 36 tests to be completed today. Yesterday, 46 staff of the NAB were tested for COVID-19 and there was one positive test. This brings to six the total number of NAB staff who have tested positive.

  • This most recent case is a 60 year old Barbadian female who works as a Home Helper with the NAB and is believed to have been infected when she visited the Country Road Office to collect supplies from a previously identified positive case at the NAB. This latest case was also completely asymptomatic and was only identified following the decision to test all possible contacts – which itself is a justification of that decision and demonstrates the effectiveness of contact tracing in identifying cases. Rigorous tracing and follow-up of all contacts of this most recent case is already under way by the Ministry of Health & Wellness.

  • Arising from this cluster of cases at the NAB, the Government of Barbados has set itself two critical priorities:

    • First, providing the very best treatment, care and support to the staff of the NAB and their families who have been impacted either directly or indirectly by these events.

    • Second, ensuring that there is no compromise of the level or quality of service provided by the NAB to more than 1,000 clients, most of them our most treasured senior citizens, whether cared for through the Home Help Service or resident in one of the three shelters under the NAB management.

  • The Minister of People Empowerment & Elder Affairs, the Minister of Labour and the COVID-19 Czar have today met with the labour representatives of the staff at the NAB to provide a full briefing on this matter and to consider the way forward in meeting the priorities of treatment, care and support for the staff and their families; and delivery of quality service to clients of the NAB while protecting the health and well-being of all concerned.

General COVID-19 Update

  • Yesterday, 26 April 2020, there were a total of 88 tests for COVID-19 conducted at the Best-Dos Santos Centre of which there was one new positive case – the case of the NAB worker identified earlier. 

  • This brings the total number of cases in Barbados to 8039 have recovered; 35 are in isolation and there have been 6 deaths.

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