Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, has assured the public that his Ministry is taking no chances with public health as it relates to COVID-19.
Government has been proactive so far, he says, testing anyone who exhibits flu-like symptoms and fits the criteria established by health authorities for suspected cases.
He, therefore, today cautioned residents against taking to social media to spread rumours of the virus being in Barbados every time they see an ambulance arrive at a residence or hotel to transfer a person for testing.
Minister Bostic maintained: “We are being proactive and leaving nothing to chance. If someone exhibits symptoms and fits the criteria, that is, they have been in a country in the previous 14 days which has confirmed cases, or they think they might have been in contact with such a person, then we will test them for COVID-19.
“The health officers who go to the homes or hotels to collect them will wear protective gear because they will be in close contact with a potential case. This does not mean that the person has COVID-19. We cannot know this until we receive their test results.
“So far, the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory has reported all negative results on everyone sent for testing, and we hope and pray that it remains that way.”
The Minister of Health and Wellness however noted that it was becoming increasingly likely that Barbados will record a case of COVID-19 because the viral illness has reached this region.
He gave the assurance: “The health services are ready to deal with the challenge. We have been preparing ourselves for the past six weeks for this occurrence and I am confident that we are ready. Our quarantine and isolation facilities at this time are adequate and more beds are available, if necessary.
“I urge Barbadians once again not to panic; to understand that Government is doing all in its power to deal with this challenge, and up until today, we have had no confirmed cases.
“You must continue to play your part by following the public health advice: practise good hand hygiene; keep your hands away from your mouth, eyes and nose; and disinfect all surfaces with which you come into contact regularly”.