UPDATES: PM address September 13, 2021
Prime Minister Mia Mottley addressed the nation on September 13, 2021.
She was joined by Attorney General Dale Marshall, Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic and the National COVID-19 Public Adviser, David Ellis.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley
- Over the past two weeks, 84 families were affected by the Delta variant of COVID-19.
- These numbers range from two to eight people.
- Over the course of the past few days, we have settled on a COVID-19 Public Adviser.
- It was important to have someone that was independent and able to reach all of Barbados because of information that must be rendered.
- We wanted someone with a long and strong track record of speaking to Barbados and working with them and helping with behaviour modification.
- Former Starcom Network general manager and news director, David Ellis, has agreed to be public adviser with responsibility not to Government, but to the people of Barbados.
- We are losing nurses from Cuba because of vacation. I also, spoke to President of Ghana about nurses and we are working with CARICOM. We are also reaching out to medical professionals in the diaspora.
- CARPHA suggested the MU variant has been here since June because they are several samples that have been labelled “unidentified” they suggest may be MU.
- Over 200 Under-18s caught COVID-19.
- About 5 500 people between the ages of 12 and 18 have been vaccinated.
- Another 26 000 can be vaccinated with Pfizer.
- I would be happy to get rid of the Pfizer in the next two weeks. We still have Astra Zeneca and Sinopharm.
- I have seen a difference in the last 10 days with people coming forward. Carry the message and get on board.
- We can win this battle without being draconian or putting measures in place that are mandatory.
- I hope the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner will give me an audience with the security forces to give them information they need.
- Barbados has appreciable lower number of deaths. Delta threatens that.
- Later this week, we will give more details about home quarantine and home isolation.
COVID-19 Public Adviser David Ellis
- It was a difficult decision for me to make.
- We are here to encourage those that are hesitant and uncertain about vaccines towards the goal to minimise the damage done to COVID-19.
- I want to work with all interest groups. I have not taken this as a partisan job.
- I called Opposition Leader, Bishop Joseph Atherley and DLP leader, Verla de Peiza out of courtesy and respect and told them that I was taking this assignment and I was willing to help in any way I can through this office.
- The most important task we must deal with is the unvaccinated and they need to be convinced that it is important and necessary.
- We must also encourage people to follow the protocols as well. Message must be a combination of those. How are we going to change behaviour, immediate and long-term?
- We have been tricked by COVID time and time again. Last year, we did not expect to be here. We do not know where we will be next year.
- We need the numbers (to understand people’s responses), rather than a hunch. My observations would be inadequate.
- A lot of young people believe they cannot be touched. That was so early in the pandemic, but the Delta variant has been making a difference. We must jolt several people out of complacency.
- It may be useful to take counsellors into the community. We have got to study it more. We must bring behavioural specialists in to help, and it will be a combination of that, plus surveys and messaging.
Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic
- We do not have a resource problem. We have had challenges, but it is the nature of the war.
- We are rationalising to see if we are using the resources effectively, plus technology has helped.
- We are not worried about resources, except nurses, because of the surge of cases. We are still managing.
- We have community transmissions. Cases are springing up across the country.
- There are quite a few family clusters.
- 8 from results announced.
- 84 clusters over September.
- Clusters from the commercial sector.
- The vast majority of people that have COVID now are unvaccinated.