Barbados declares community spread of COVID-19

Latest News

Barbados declares community spread of COVID-19

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Print this page Email A Friend!


BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Minister of Health Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic says Barbados is now grappling with the community spread of COVID-19.

Speaking during a COVID-19 management update late Saturday, Bostic confirmed what was widely speculated, after the cases mushroomed at the end of 2020.

“Our strategy at the moment is trying to find persons that we consider to have been exposed to known positive cases, continue to assess them, place them in quarantine and to test all primary contacts, and this will continue, but with some intensification in places of greatest interest.”

Bostic said since the first cases in this outbreak were detected at the end of last year, there were 1 035 positive, mainly among the local population, concentrated on the South and West Coasts, consistent with the clusters.

He noted that the evidence was pointing to the fact that the cases were originating in areas where people tend to drop their guard, among family and in community settings, but there was one positive coming from the business sector.

“The protocols are actually holding and because the protocols are holding, that is why we are not seeing a lot of positive cases coming from contacts from those persons who would have visited various business places and so on,” he explained.

The health minister added that the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has been informed about the authorities' decision regarding declaring community spread.

He said while Barbados has been working assiduously to deal with positive cases, putting required measures in place; authorities have a plan in place, including finding persons who were exposed to known positive cases, assess them, and place them in quarantine.

He also said that additional resources from within the Ministry of Health and Wellness will be allocated to the contact tracing effort, including the use of the WHO approved antigen rapid test to assist with screening at hospital and an initial test for primary contacts.

According to the health minister,assessing the level of transmission is key to assessing the overall COVID-19 situation in Barbados and epidemic control measures are of great importance.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 infections at HMP Dodds is on the decline, and rapid testing has been introduced at the penal institution.

According to Information MinisterWilfred Abrahams, while the situation at the prison was not fully under control, it is —“100 per cent better than [it was] a week ago”.

“What I am pleased to say is…we have made significant progress in the prison. Whereas we tested over, or we had over 300 confirmed results in the prison, I think we are now down to a very, very small amount,” Abrahams said.

He added that rapid tests were also being used as the prison circumstances warrant to assist in early detection, to better manage the prison healthcare system.

However, Abrahams noted that while the number of infections at the prison were reduced drastically, authorities were working to ensure that the situation did not recur.

“We are trying to keep everybody in terms of exercising within their quads, so that if we do have a flare up, or somebody else happens in the prison, they can be confined, or isolated to sections, as opposed to the general population,” he said.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT