The following are key points from the daily briefing on the COVID-19 coronavirus by the Government of Barbados. Minister of Health and Wellness Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic led the announcement at Ilaro Court today.
He was joined by acting chief medical officer Dr Anton Best and COVID-19 communications czar, Richard Carter.
- The number of COVID-19 cases increased from six to 14.
- Seven of these were detected as a result of aggressive contact tracing.
- The other person is a visitor.
- Of those testing positive, nine are women and five are men.
- The cases are mild, says acting chief medical officer Dr Anton Best, but this could change so they need to be in medical facilities where they can be monitored.
- The new cases are all being placed into isolation.
- The Ministry of Health will not issue an appeal because they will not breach the confidentiality of those who have COVID-19. As a result, information which can impair the contract tracing will not be placed in the public domain.
- Barbados has moved to Stage 2 of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
- Public health teams are actively engaged in contact tracing. A swab is done for those who have symptoms, and if there are no symptoms, that person is placed in quarantine.
- Dr Best says quarantine is essential to limiting the spread of COVID-19.
- Barbados can accommodate 6o people in quarantine and 46 in isolation.
- Do not go to the medical facility if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Call the hotline 536-4500 or a healthcare provider.
- If you have asthma, call the polyclinic, Asthma Bay or your healthcare provider. If you suspect you have COVID-19, it is essential to call because your case will be treated differently.
- Carter said Government has already started identifying the most vulnerable who will need assistance and that should start rolling out by next week.
- Persons and corporate entities can make their donations via 2551000.
- Barbadians are asked to avoid mass gatherings to contain spread. The number has declined from 100 to 25.
- Essential public services will continue to function.
- There are sufficient supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) for nurses and medical staff on the frontline.
- Numbers will increase as contact tracing continues.
- Do not panic, get news from credible sources, observe the public health practises and follow the public service announcements.
- The number of positive cases on the cruise ships has increased to four. Those numbers do not count to the Barbados total. Shore leave is still prohibited.
- Testing continues every day.