COVID-19 deaths reach 20
Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic today gave a reminder of the danger of chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) as Barbados’ death toll from coronavirus (COVID-19) rose to 20 yesterday with the passing of two more Barbadians.
The first death was that of a 53-year-old woman with a history of chronic NCDs. She died at Harrison Point where she had been a patient for three days, following a positive PCR test result. Within hours, a 67-year-old man died at Enmore after being admitted there from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital the previous day. He too had a history of NCDs.
Bostic, extended condolences to the families.
“Those who are paying attention to these matters would have noticed that whereas before, the deaths from the virus were occurring amongst senior citizens, in the last few weeks persons in their 40s, 50s and 60s have succumbed to COVID. This underscores the point that persons of every age are vulnerable to this disease. Furthermore, in each case, chronic noncommunicable diseases have been a complicating factor and continue to point to these comorbidities as a risk factor for poor outcomes.”
During the national press conference on COVID-19 in Barbados on February 8, before the passing of the 53-year-old woman was reported by Ambassador Elizabeth Thompson, Medical Officer of Health at the Winston Scott Polyclinic, Dr Omar Edwards, cautioned Barbadians that younger people were also vulnerable to the disease. He said that those with chronic NCDs needed to manage their conditions carefully.
Other medical professionals have repeated this advice recently. During the press conference on Sunday, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of the West Indies, Dr Kenneth Connell, emphasised the importance of people suffering from NCDs taking steps to make themselves safer.
He advised them to, “monitor your condition, make sure you see your doctor or health care provider, are on an updated and appropriate management plan and get some exercise; it is vitally important that you take your prescribed medication”.
“What this pandemic has nakedly exposed is that because of our noncommunicable disease burden in this region, COVID-19 poses particular risk to our populations.” (PR)