45 COVID-positive patients in Barbados; 5 Bajans die in NYC
Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw
Barbados has recorded 45 positive COVID-19 cases.
In light of this new tally, the government has taken the firm decision to advance its restrictive measures, however, the country's borders will remain open.
To date, the country has conducted a total of 382 laboratory tests.
Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw said that in the last two days alone, the country has recorded "a whopping 11 cases".
Delivering the address to the nation from Ilaro Court minutes ago (April 1), she said, "our fear is that it won’t end there."
And she warned that based on the trajectory that we are on currently "if we do not change course as a nation", the number of cases will "rise at an accelerated rate over the course of the next few weeks".
But, beyond the projected number, Bradshaw said that the biggest point of concern when profiling the 45 COVID-positive patients, is that some of the more recently diagnosed persons "are gravely ill".
She said that this developing trend is of "a major worry" because it now "places us in a completely different territory with the clear and present danger of widespread community transmission, such as we have seen in many other parts of the world."
To date, locally Barbados has not recorded any COVID-19 deaths but she said that as it relates to some Bajans abroad, there have been five reported deaths in New York City alone.
"Among the near 46,000-plus that have died worldwide from complications associated with this disease, most of us know of someone who knows someone who has been taken by this mighty pandemic.
"In New York City alone where thousands of Barbadians reside, we have already lost at least five of our citizens to this disease."
Extending sincere condolences to the family and friends who are at this time grieving, she told the nation: "This disease is not stopping. [...]
"Small nations such as Barbados have now to fend for themselves. There is no sister nation to turn to because all around us is on lockdown - from Trinidad and Tobago in the South, to St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia next door, up to Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda further North, they are all tonight on lockdown or headed swiftly to that point.
"We, therefore, need to formulate a plan of survival for Barbados."
Barbados is, therefore, taking the "drastic action" to reduce, manage and contain the spread of COVID-19 locally.
After consultation with key partners and stakeholders including members of the Opposition, the Democratic Labour Party and the social partnership, Barbados is implementing additional measures under the Emergency Management Act, including "a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a government facility will be placed on all persons entering Barbados irrespective of the port of origin or port of entry.
"With effect from the third of April 2020 until the fourteenth day of April 2020, every non-essential service shall remain closed" except those exempted with specific hours of operation.