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The Ministry of Health and Wellness has put the following surveillance measures in place to manage travellers with any risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Travellers arriving in Barbados who have been to China within the previous 14 days of arrival, are determined to have some level of risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Such persons, when identified, will be screened to determine their level of risk. This screening involves being interviewed and examined by the Port Health personnel.

If the traveller is found to have no symptoms of respiratory illness he or she will then be subjected to either self-quarantine or mandatory quarantine, depending on their level of risk of exposure to COVID-19.

In mandatory quarantine, the person will be kept in a designated facility and monitored for the development of fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing.

This monitoring is done by health care personnel for 14 days from the last day of likely exposure. It should be noted that this person is not determined to be ill, but categorised as having had high level of risk of exposure to the COVID-19.

In self-quarantine, the person is required to stay at home for up to 14 days and have very limited interaction with other members of the household. This person will be provided with an information package outlining the steps on how to reduce the risk of spreading any possible illness to other members of the household.

Dr. Walter Alleyne, Medical Officer of Health at the Ministry of Health and Wellness explains the surveillance methods Barbados Government is implementing to protect citizens during the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus. (BGIS)

The traveller will also be provided with a surgical mask, and thermometer to take and monitor their own temperature. Ideally, the traveller should have their own bedroom and bathroom facilities and avoid close interaction with other members of the household during this period. During this quarantine period, the traveller will be monitored by health care personnel twice daily for symptoms.

If the traveller develops no symptoms during the quarantine period and has been isolated from the rest of the household as instructed, the rest of the household are considered to be at a low risk and can go about with their normal daily activities.

If, when in quarantine, a person develops symptoms of respiratory illness, and this is confirmed by the health care team, the person will be visited by the team and taken to the isolation facility by ambulance, for further investigation. The response team will be dressed in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as a precautionary measure taken to protect themselves while interacting with the patient.

The test results can be obtained in as short a period as 4 hours. The patient will remain in the isolation facility until symptoms resolve. The other members of the household will be monitored for 14 days from the time the patient had developed symptoms.

Ministry of Health and Wellness

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