On Monday, a 36-year-old visitor from Holland was the latest person to test positive for COVID-19 in Barbados. The visitor arrived on British Airways on October 30 and was confirmed positive for the viral illness after a second test revealed by the Ministry of Health in Barbados. Prior to that, a 30-year-old Guyanese woman who arrived on Trans Guyana on October 29 was also tested positive on her second test.
The latest case was announced just a day after Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley spoke about the country’s COVID-19 situation during her support speech at a public meeting on Sunday for Ms. Toni Moore in Charles Rowe Bridge, St. George. Mottley revealed that 95% of the people who test positive in Barbados all testing positive on the second test.
She acknowledged that the second test for passenger arriving in Barbados came with high criticism when not many countries have put a second test in place but the leader said to imagine what could have happened to Barbados if a second test was not been administered to incoming passengers. Places like New York are now going to now require a second test and England too will now consider a second test. “Little Barbados has it in place for the last few months,” Mottley said.
Prime Minister Mottley said that, “Early on Barbados did something that we took a lot of licks for, and that was Jeffery [Bostic, Minister of Health] and the CMO [Chief Medical Officer] and his team agreed with the Cabinet that we would do second test. Don’t mind you come with a PCR test, we are still going to do a second test…. Even when others were questioning, I set up a meeting with Jeffrey and his team, the CMO to meet with the officials from the World Health Organization.”
Mottley who said that the Government of Barbados has as its first responsibility to protect the lives and livelihoods of its people, also touted that Barbados early corrective and preemptive actions have been a success in containing the novel coronavirus, adding that the eternal vigilance and the actions of each and everyone of the residents is required to protect each other from the virus.
The second test sample Mottley said has worked well for Barbados with people coming from the US, the UK and Canada. Her plan is to make this a requirement for everyone traveling to Barbabos regardless of if they are arriving from a high risk area or not.
“Because of the fact that we have seen community spread in some of our neighboring territories, we are going to require from now on, and the Ministry of Health will announce the date, from when it will start that all persons coming into Barbados, regardless of whether they coming from the high risk countries of the US, the UK and Canada now, or whether it’s medium or low risk, as long as this second wave is about and knocking down people in the world, in the Western Hemisphere with whom we have airline contact, we will require all persons to have a PCR test before entering Barbados or to get one at the airport upon entry. And that then they will be subject to the second test within 4-5 days after that first test.”
Barbados has recorded an accumulated total of 238 positive cases with 224 of those cases fully recovered. The deceased toll stands at 7 which Mottley feels that the minimal number of people that passed is good but having seven of the country’s own citizens passed is bad. She said, “the only way we can keep those numbers down, as you watch the world, particularly the western world of whom we have relationships go fully back into a lockdown down, into a second wave, we see it in the United States, we see it in Canada, we see it yesterday in England with Boris Johnson shutting down and locking down for another month in England, we see it in Europe and in the Caribbean, we have seen our own countries from the north to the south and in recent days those who even closer to us, get aspects of community spread.”
“My friends, I like Jeffrey [Health Minister] feels there should be no retreat and no surrender, but I also know the only way there can be no retreat and no surrender is when each and everyone of us plays our part. It also means that the protocols have to be observed. And we ask you please to wear your mask. This thing does not play. Pull it up,” the Bajan leader told the audience.
The Prime Minister calls on the younger generation to be vigilant in the protection of their parents and grandparents from the “invisible enemy that is killing so many people across the world.”
Barbados has a population of about 287,000 people. A total of 37,072 COVID-19 test samples have been taken as of Tuesday’s dashboard.