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Bostic welcomes Barbadians stranded in US


KG

Bostic welcomes Barbadians stranded in US

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Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic said today that any Barbadians who were stranded abroad during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have every right to be here as he welcomed home about 110 people.

The passengers arrived onboard a JetBlue flight from the United States this afternoon.

Bostic was speaking at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) where the Barbadians were being processed before being taken to quarantine facilities. He made the point too that home quarantine was not an option except on a case by case basis and for medical reasons.

While noting that Barbados is still under mandatory quarantine of 14 days for people arriving here, the Minister emphasised: “We as a country, as a Government would never deny our citizens the right to return home.”

Bostic said a number of the passengers endured some serious situations while abroad. One couple, he said, had been stuck in the United States for about four months and were happy to be home.

The minister said he was present today because citizens who arrived last week onboard a British Airways repatriation flight from the United Kingdom complained about the length of time it took to be processed.

Bostic said Ministry of Health officials met with GAIA management in an effort to alleviate the challenges experienced last week. He said in order to shorten the length of time at the airport, a swabbing centre was established whereby some passengers could be swabbed, while others were processed, then to be transported to the respective quarantine facilities.

He explained that some people opted not to use the Government’s quarantine facilities at Paragon and St Lucy District Hospital. Those who opted to stay in hotels, which had arrangements with Government to be used as quarantine facilities, paid the bills themselves, Bostic said.

The Minister said home quarantine was not an option except under special conditions, such as people who had medical procedures. He explained that under such exemptions, medical records and proof was supplied to the authorities before permission to home quarantine was granted. He also said the facilities at home were examined by officials.

He said exemptions were also given on humanitarian grounds.

(KG)

 

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