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Work resumes at the Port


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Work resumes at the Port
Workers were off the job today at the Bridgetown Port. (Picture by Jameel Springer)

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Some commercial activity resumed at the Barbados Port Inc. on Wednesday and all staff will be tested after one employee returned a positive COVD-19 result the previous day.

Earlier, some staff were off the job, saying there was no clear indication of what was to be done.

In a media release, management said primary contacts of the affected individual would be tested first, followed by those employees with underlying conditions. Arrangements were also being made for testing to commence today through tomorrow.

These were among the solutions coming out of a meeting to address worker concerns held with Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey; Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) management executives; general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union, Toni Moore; senior medical officer, Dr Anton Best; and medical officer of health – Ports of Entry, Dr Manohar Singh.

The Port is currently closed to cargo deliveries, vessel discharge and load operations resumed at 4 p.m. and it is expected that work will resume in all operational areas on Thursday at 7 a.m. The Administration Building, Cube Blue, will remain closed until further notice.

“Our primary interest remains the safety of our team and we are offering full support to the affected individual and all other employees,” Humphrey said in the release.

“At the same time, we recognise the Port’s role as an essential services organisation and we intend to keep the Port functional, while safeguarding the health of employees. We will continue to rigorously follow all the guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as we work to ensure Barbados’ lifeline for the importation of food, medical supplies and nearly all of the island’s imports continues to flow.”

COVID-19 protocols at the Port have been intensified with mandatory wearing of masks, frequent hand sanitisation and observance of social distancing while facilitating business, the release continued.

Members of the public are advised to use the online facilities, entry will be by appointment only for cargo collection and any other business and there will be enhanced security screening to minimise entry and movement of non-essential personnel through the Port.

Extensive cleaning and sanitisation of all Port facilities and equipment continues in accordance with recommended guidelines. (PR/SAT)