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LIVE UPDATES: COVID Management February 15, 2021

LIVE UPDATES: COVID Management February 15, 2021
Prime Minister Mia Mottley (GP)

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Key points and live updates from the February 15, 2021 COVID management press conference featuring Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic, senior medical officer of health Dr Anton Best and infectious disease specialist Dr Corey Forde.

Senator Jerome Walcott

  • We are very concerned following the death of our first frontline worker.
  • We know the effects it can have on her colleagues.
  • She was a dedicated and hard-working nurse.

Operation Seek and Save

  • 62 000 households.
  • 168 suspicious households
  • 239 rapid antigen tests
  • 197 PRC tests.
  • 18 positive results

Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic

Testing – February 3-14

  • 8 395 samples
  • 6 560 tests
  • 628 positive cases
  • 70 per cent of positive cases resulted from contact tracing and primary contacts

Geriatric Hospital

  • 5 additional cases (2 kitchen staff and 3 nurses)
  • All cases were asymptomatic
  • Remainder of staff negative
  • Awaiting 20 test results

Senior Citizen Home No. 1

  • Located in St Michael
  • 5 positive cases from rapid antigen tests
  • Additional 2 cases from PCR tests
  • All cases asymptomatic

Senior Citizen Home No. 2

  • Located in Eastern part of the island
  • 31 positive cases
  • 3 staff with positive PCR tests
  • 3 positive with rapid antigen tests, awaiting PCR results
  • Designated an isolation facility.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

  • We lost about $7 million a day during the first lockdown.
  • The amount we are losing in this shutdown is slightly smaller.
  • We have done reasonably well as a country to contain the threat of community spread.
  • We are not yet where we need to be.
  • We expect to have nine months’ supply of the automatic reagents.
  • We had hoped to get them sooner.
  • The Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners and the public health professionals have expressed their views and there is a belief that we need to continue what we are doing.
  • There are clear recommendations for an extension of the period that we have.
  • At the same time, there is a desire from the private sector and Congress of Trade Unions and Staff Associations of Barbados to open back up.
  • The finance and economic team says we will be hurt by an extension of the lockdown but it will not kill or collapse our economy.
  • The advisors indicated that we will come out at just under $78 million for the first part of the lockdown in terms of the loss of economic activity.
  • If we go for an additional two weeks, the most we will lose is another $70 million to $75 million.
  • We are looking at a loss of about $150 million in economic activity for the month of February.
  • I asked Minister Ryan Straughn and the finance and economic persons in our team to work with the financial sector to address the issue of retail and commercial mortgages and loans to allow individuals to have a greater level of certainty over the next 18 to 24 months.
  • I have also Minister Ryan Straughn to work with the utility companies to ensure that those persons whose cash flow is negatively affected that some kind of arrangement can be put in place over a period of three to four months.
  • The Barbados Employment and Sustainable Transformation (BEST) programme, as we conceptualised last September, has to be refined.
  • The circumstances in which the tourism sector is operating today have changed due to the cessation of flights from a major source markets.
  • We are in discussions with members of the tourism sector to see how best we can help them.
  • We have already vaccinated 2 863 people with the first dose.
  • Most of them will get their second dose in ten weeks’ time.
  • This week we expect to see the vaccination process ramped up, especially with the inclusion of the vulnerable.
  • The Barbados Defence Force expects to have delivered 30 000 care packages by the end of the day.
  • The National Pause has been extended to February 28, 2021
  • Minimarts will be allowed to open Monday to Friday.
  • Supermarkets remain closed on weekends.
  • Post offices and other courier type services will reopen on Thursday.
  • Other Western Union type financial institutions will also reopen.

Barbados’ Six-Point Plan to fight COVID-19

  • Aggressive contact tracing
  • Operation Seek and Save
  • Testing at the Lab returning to normalcy
  • Vaccines delivered to the population
  • Adherence to protocols
  • Enforcement