COVID-19 update and press conference – January 30, 2021. (PMO)

Over 300 student volunteers will be assisting in Government’s COVID-19 Community Evaluation Survey also called the “seek and save” initiative.

Chairman of the Cabinet’s COVID-19 Sub-committee, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, yesterday during a COVID-19 Update from Ilaro Court, disclosed the involvement of students in the Covid-19 Community Evaluation Survey.

Senator Walcott noted that: “We’re working collaboratively with the University of West Indies, as I speak to you the recruiting is going on, they’ve been hundreds of volunteers for this process, we’re looking at about well over 300 persons to be utilised.”

When questioned about how persons in the community will be able to identify these students conducting the “seek and save” survey initiative, Minister Walcott stated “They will be provided with the necessary photo ID”. 

Responding to expressed  concerns with regard to strangers entering households in light of community spread, the Cabinet Subcommittee Chairman pointed out that: “These students will have their masks, will have shields, they’ll be using sanitizers, they will be at a distance from you.”

In addition to the over 300 student volunteers who will be insured should anything happen to them, the Government through the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, will be enlisting the help of well-known people in the community to be of assistance in carrying out the survey.

The COVID-19 Community Evaluation initiative is aiming to complete its house-to-house surveys during the period of “national pause” – February 3 to 17, and in order to do so, Minister Walcott revealed how that would be achieved. 

He said: “We have over 300 students, we have 30 constituencies in Barbados [and] we’ve worked out the time it takes to complete the questionnaire, that is the student asking the questions and making observations.

“We’ve worked out that they can easily do four households in an hour. We expect students to work perhaps to six hours in a day… that will be seeing about 24 households per student, per day,” Minister Walcott explained.

Senator Walcott noted that they are “roughly just under 100,000 households in Barbados” and once the public cooperates and recognises the importance of the initiatives, the “seek and save” initiative can be completed during the period of national pause”. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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