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De Peiza: Change COVID response

De Peiza: Change COVID response
DLP president Verla De Peiza and candidate for St Michael South Central, Richard Sealy at yesterday’s press conference. (Picture by Reco Moore)

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Barbados is under siege from COVID-19 and Government is refusing to listen to medical professionals, says the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).

During a media conference yesterday, the DLP laid out a targeted containment management system for dealing with the pandemic.

“We need to talk about short term measures and stop talking about medium to long term. We need to focus on breaking the transmission [levels] now. No one wants a full lockdown . . . but what we really need to be talking about is how we manage strategically the way we move, do business and relate to each other,” said president Verla De Peiza.

The party leader said steps such as working from home, which she said would reduce the numbers on public transport; pushing e-commerce, which would result in less customers in business places; and longer business hours to help prevent long lines could go far in reducing the spread of the virus.

DePeiza also said there should be changes to how people were being tested for the virus as well as a tightening of the island’s borders.

“The information collected by those university students in February is now very pertinent for targeted testing in our communities. We need to have a major ramping up of our testing. It is not just about expecting people to come to the testing sites . . . but it also has to be more than parking a mobile unit on a pasture and expecting people to come out. What about knocking on doors and having a conversation?” she asked.

“The tightest of controls at our borders are necessary. It is not enough for the minister to say we have strong measures at our borders, the fact of the matter is COVID was brought into Barbados so therefore we need to have that containment at our borders to be its strongest. We need to be following the science where travel quarantine protocols are concerned. We catch at the tourist dollar only to spend it on health and that cannot have a positive effect on our economy,” she said.

De Peiza said it was also incorrect to blame cancellations in the tourism sector on the low vaccination rates. Rather, it was the rapid spread of COVID-19 that was a determining factor and visitors were reluctant to be exposed to the virus while on holiday. (CA)