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Forde: Nothing to hide about isolation numbers

Forde: Nothing to hide about isolation numbers
DR COREY FORDE (FILE)

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Health officials have “nothing to hide” about the numbers in isolation, says Barbados’ infectious disease specialist, Dr Corey Forde.

He issued a statement via the Barbados Government Information Service stating there were 25 fully vaccinated people in secondary and tertiary isolation and 37 who are unvaccinated.

Forde was responding to a statement by a patient that Government was not reporting the true figures on the number of people in isolation.

He addressed several issues in the statement and also invited the media to tour the facility.

The statement follows in full:

There were 25 fully vaccinated Barbadians in secondary and tertiary isolation as of Monday, July, 26, in addition to 37 unvaccinated persons in the same areas.

One vaccinated person is also in primary isolation due to a medical problem besides COVID-19.

These figures were disclosed by Isolation Facilities Manager, Dr Corey Forde, who said health officials had nothing to hide when it came to the numbers at the isolation facilities.

He was at the time addressing claims made by a patient that health authorities were not reporting the true figures regarding those fully vaccinated persons in isolation with COVID-19.

Dr Forde said that as of Monday evening, there were 150 people, including 38 minors, in isolation between the Harrison Point facility and the Sun Bay Hotel isolation facility which was opened to facilitate the recent increase in COVID-19 cases. He pointed out that the Sun Bay facility housed patients who were clinically well with mild symptoms.

The Isolation Facilities Manager said the number of vaccinated persons in isolation was due to the fact that over the last few days, a number of Barbadians who had returned from overseas were admitted.

He reinforced the point that vaccines did not stop persons from getting infected with the virus but they did prevent them from becoming seriously ill, as was evident with those vaccinated persons currently in isolation.

“One of the things we know for sure across the globe…is that once you’re vaccinated the risk of you getting sick if you get COVID is extremely low,” he underscored.

Dr Forde urged Barbadians to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones and to avoid overwhelming the health care system.

He also addressed another claim that no sheets were provided for the patient and his family when they entered isolation, leaving them to purchase their own. He said he was surprised at the gentleman’s claims since the situation was explained to him by Client Relations.

“The issue with regards to laundry was one that was clearly addressed by Client Relations and it was explained why at the time the person was admitted there was a shortage of laundry. This was at the same time when at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, there were COVID-19 cases in the Laundry Department and all laundry personnel had to be pulled and there was a scramble then to try to replace those staff members.

“That happened at the hospital in the morning and persons where able to come in the afternoon to have as many laundered items there. The patient and his family were provided with laundered sheets and bedding at the [Harrison Point] facility. It was a decision made by the client to purchase or to bring his own materials. That was his choice,” Dr Forde stated.

He noted that those patients who were well enough were able to go outdoors and engage in sports and were taken to the beach and the Harrison Point Lighthouse for a change of scenery. Additionally, he said there was a children’s play room and activities for minors to participate in, contrary to what was circulated on social media.

In the interest of transparency, Dr Forde extended an invitation to the media to visit the Harrison Point facility if they so desired. (BGIS)