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Health officials waiting on cruise ship to dock


Health officials waiting on cruise ship to dock

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Later today, Barbadians will know if three people on the Carnival Fascination have any serious medical conditions, including the coronavirus.

In a hastily called media briefing this morning at Government Headquarters, Prime Minister Mia Mottley moved swiftly to refute rumours of there being more than 170 sick people on the cruise ship.

“I want to debunk that and to let all Barbadians know up front and centre, that that is an untruth,” Mottley said firmly.

Flanked by Minister of Tourism, Kerrie Symmonds; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Jerome Walcott; Minister of Health, Jeffrey Bostic; Minister of Maritime Affairs, Kirk Humphrey; Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George and cruise representative Martin Ince, Mottley said Barbados had put the protocols in place to protect the country.

She revealed she was in contact with officials at the Carnival Corporation and Prime Minister of St Lucia, Allen Chastenet, regarding the Carnival Fascination which was scheduled to dock there last night. However, when officials on the boat indicated three people were showing flu-like symptoms, St Lucia refused entry stating they did not have the capacity to test for the coronavirus.

The Prime Minister said there are 37 Barbadians on board and 140 passengers who are scheduled to disembark to make a connecting flight at the Grantley Adams International Airport.

She said the three people were tested for Influenza “A”. They are no longer showing symptoms and they are “reasonably confident there is nothing to worry about”, but every precaution will be taken.

Mottley’s response was to quell the “epidemic of rumour” which she said “is in fact worst than the epidemic of the virus”.

Once the ship docks, medical personnel will go on board and take the swabs. Those will be tested and results should be available in four hours.

Mottley said Barbados had enough space to quarantine anyone who might be infected at the Elayne Scantlebury Centre in St Lucy and at Paragon, Christ Church. Additionally, the Field Hospital at the Barbados Defence Force can also accommodate about 40 people. (SAT)