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Close to 1 500 in home isolation for COVID-19, doc says


Adriel Richard

Close to 1 500 in home isolation for COVID-19, doc says
Dr Adanna Grandison, the consultant manager of the national COVID-19 home isolation and home quarantine programme in Barbados, speaking during the news conference on Thursday

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Health authorities said on Thursday there were currently monitoring close to 1 500 people under the home isolation programme for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Barbados.

Dr Adanna Grandison, the consultant manager of the national COVID-19 home isolation and home quarantine programme, said during a news conference there were currently 1 486 people being monitored.

She made it clear this did not include the little more than 800 people under medical care that were reported on Wednesday on the national dashboard in the eight isolation facilities around the island.

Grandison said her team of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel had so far made first contact with about 80 per cent of the cases in home isolation to conduct medical assessments and emphasised the importance of people sharing truthful health information.

“We want you to tell our doctors when we call to triage (preliminary assessment of patients) that essentially, ‘yes, I am taking some medications and these are what the medications are for’ and this is where we need (the public’s) buy-in,” she said.

“Doctors will go on and ask questions about your symptoms and this is very, very important in the COVID-19 fight. We want to know if you are having something as subtle as a headache or a sore throat or simply feeling unwell or if you have had a fever… or shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing.

“All of these things are important for you to tell the doctor that is triaging you what you are experiencing. It is only at that point that we can safely and accurately triage you so that we can escalate or maintain your correct or appropriate modality of care.”

Grandison said so far over 150 people were transferred from home isolation to either the Harrison Point or Blackman Gollop isolation facilities because they required enhanced medical care.

She said such decisions were based solely “on a clinical assessment” and not that if an individual ticked a box, making it clear that it was the responsibility of her team to keep people safe.

She added there are people who may not have any COVID-19 symptoms when her team makes an initial assessment, but their living arrangements may need to be altered or the individual moved to an isolation facility to keep other family members safe.

Grandison said there were currently 17 people, considered low risk, in home isolation that were fitted with ankle bracelets to monitor their movement, and she expected that number to increase late Thursday.

She said: “These are people that we consider, believe it or not, are ‘green’, people who we consider low (risk) because we know that a person who is low (risk), most likely not having any symptoms, is the head person who will say, ‘I don’t feel anyway. I don’t have any symptoms, I may not even have COVID-19’, and may attempt to walk around in the community, may attempt to leave home.” (AR)