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COVID public health measures working for Barbados

COVID public health measures working for Barbados
Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic. (GP)

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Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic painted a generally positive picture of Barbados’ COVID-19 management over the last three months.

Describing it as “a good sign for the country”, he said the positivity rate was a mere 0.2 per cent and with new cases at four per 100 000, this should pave the way for a shift from public health to matters of the economy and society.

He was speaking during Saturday’s update from Ilaro Court, in which Prime Minister Mia Mottley also announced the national curfew would be lifted on June 30 when the current COVID directive expired.

Bostic said the response of the Ministry of Health was based on the intensity of transmission versus the capacity to respond, but with such a low positivity rate, they recommended to the Cabinet sub-Committee and by extension Cabinet, that the focus be shifted.

“We are doing quite well. So the energy that has been sucked out of the virus, [we] now believe that this energy needs to be channelled into economic and social activity to allow the country to catch itself and to allow people to be able to breathe a lot easier so that we can get back to a state of normalcy as far as possible. And that is where we are at this point in time,” Bostic said.

Citing statistics, he showed over the last three month, even with increased testing, fewer people were positive for the virus.

From March 19 to April 18, the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory conducted 13 439 tests, resulting in 272 positive cases and from April 19 to May 18, there were 15 001 tests for 191 positive cases. But from May 19 to June 18, there were only 66 positive cases from 15 522 tests. Overall, there were 43 962 tests and 529 positive cases.

Bostic said May 5 was the last day double digit positive cases were recorded. There were 14 on that day, followed by just over six weeks of single digit cases. (SAT)