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UPDATES: COVID-19 September 18, 2021

UPDATES: COVID-19 September 18, 2021
Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic. (GP)

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic addressed the nation on September 18, 2021.

Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic

  • Untimely passing of another COVID-19 patient. A 50-year-old Barbadian male. He was in the isolation facility from August 28. He died this morning.
  • 1686 tests;
  • 96 new positive cases
  • 90 Barbadians
  • 22 Under-18s (310 test positive since September 1)
  • 14 families and communities impacted across the southern half of the island (142 families from Aug 1)
  • All six people that have died in the past week was unvaccinated. We are impacted by the Delta variant. It could have been worse, but the vaccines have helped so far.
  • Capacity to respond in quarantine and isolation facilities and human resources. We are challenged, but we can overcome. There is a significant challenge in Human Resources. The Government has taken a lot of measures and done a lot of things. It is not a one-sided affair or fight.
  • Infection rates:
  • 28 days – 589 per 100 000
  • 14 days – 383 per 100 000
  • 7 days – 207 per 100 000
  • We had professionals from QEH that decided they were going to work in the isolation facilities and be on the frontline of this COVID-19 fight. They have provided yeoman service to this country ably led by Corey Forde. I salute all frontline and essential workers. I salute all that went to Harrison Point, came out and contributed. I salute the companies that have contributed. But I take issue with people trying to destroy the reputation of staff at Harrison Point.
  • On social media, people are trying to destroy the reputation of staff at Harrison Point. I find the comments toxic. For every negative comment, we receive 10 to 15 positive letters, e-mails, and comments. I urge the staff at all the health facilities to have no fear, you have the full support of this Minister, the Ministry, the government, and people of Barbados. We appreciate everything that you do.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

  • We are trending in the right direction, but we need to pump it up.
  • The battle is in our families and our communities. We must keep our guard up. We must be faithful to the protocols.
  • Clear and visible difference has been made by the community vaccine programme.
  • We are one of the few countries that are doing community vaccine programme in the Caribbean.
  • Private sector entities have asked if they can be the locations for the vaccine programme.
  • Training of private medical doctors starts tomorrow to roll out the vaccines.
  • We have limited infections and deaths to COVID-19 through sound policy choices and the hard work of the medical personnel.
  • It is a combination of the two that has allowed us to have one of the lowest death rates in the world, so it is critical we remain together in this fight.
  • Right now, just under 7 000 Under-18s are vaccinated.
  • It is not easy to house more than 800 people institutionally.
  • We have been exporting people. We have shown that we have people that can serve at the height of their field.
  • We are going down a dangerous road that all wisdom and all knowledge is contained in this island or that all the skills necessary reside in the Government and Parliament.
  • Over 500 households need complete rebuild and under 1 200 that must be repaired. Barbadians will build the foundations and assemble the prefab houses. I spoke to the company about setting up a manufacturing company to produce those houses here for export.
  • Barbados’ workforce will be less than it is now in 13 years. We may have to export Barbadian services to the rest of the world until we can get the kind of economic stability we desire; that we pursue a policy of global citizens, Barbadian roots.
  • We are inching along nicely. We need to do better.
  • We need another 50 000 people vaccinated.
  • Let us agree to simple targets – 10 000 a week need to get vaccinated.
  • We currently get 6 500, but we can push a little harder.
  • If we can reach the target, there will be a justifiable case to gradually remove the restrictions before Independence Day and Christmas.
  • On Monday, The Prime Minister will inform Parliament of the intention to lay legislation for establishing a Barbadian as the head of state. On Tuesday, the AG will move the first reading.
  • Anti-corruption legislation will be introduced next week.
  • Government is hoping to bring revised Integrity in Public Life Bill to Parliament in October
  • The Prime Minister leaves the country tomorrow to go to the United Nations General Assembly and will be meeting with several other multilateral agencies and Barbadians in diaspora. She will return late Saturday/early Sunday.