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UPDATES: PM address September 13, 2021

UPDATES: PM address September 13, 2021
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley (GP)

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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.