COVID-19 update and press conference – May 6, 2021. (PMO)

Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Kenneth George, has disclosed that there are currently 50 positive cases in the cluster at the Psychiatric Hospital.

Dr. George stated this during a COVID-19 update and press conference this evening at Ilaro Court.   He said that out of the 733 tests conducted on Wednesday, there were 14 positive cases, and out of that 14, four were from the Psychiatric Hospital. 

“To date, at the Psychiatric Hospital, we have had a total of 50 cases positive, 49 males and one female, and of that 50, we have two staff members who tested positive.  So, that is the latest information that we have,” the CMO reported.

In addition, Dr. George pointed out that it was originally indicated that the cluster was confined to the ‘A’ ward, “but now there is one single case that has popped up on another ward,” he said.

The CMO noted that in the investigations at the Psychiatric Hospital they had “found 30 staff members across the whole plant who believe that they may have been exposed in some way, and we made a decision this afternoon that all those individuals will be placed in quarantine at a hotel in Barbados”.

“So, therefore, we continue to work with the Psychiatric Hospital to make sure that the issues there remain contained.  At this point in time, the outbreak seems to be mainly with clients and only a few staff members,” Dr. George said.

The Chief Medical Officer also disclosed that there was a reluctance by some staff members to be tested and he made a plea for them to come forward and be tested.  “I’m just imploring you that if we are to get to the true bottom of the situation in the Psychiatric Hospital, we need the cooperation of all staff,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, commenting on the situation regarding staff not willing to be tested, stated: “If you are deemed by the public health officials to be a primary contact, in other words, that you have had a level of exposure where it is possible that you might contract the virus and you do not want to take the test, then you have to serve the full 14 days in quarantine….

“So that, in a situation where a person might have been able to spend five days in quarantine with a negative test at day five or after, and that person would then have been allowed to leave quarantine, if you’re not tested, you spend the full 14 days in quarantine,” the Minister explained. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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