Acting Chief Medical Officer: Call ahead before visiting the QEH
Acting chief medical officer, Dr Anton Best
Persons visiting or seeking to receive treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) are being urged to cease and desist or call ahead.
Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Anton Best made the recommendation this afternoon as Government updated the public on the developments associated with COVID-19.
“We are asking people who have respiratory symptoms not to go to the QEH, to call ahead.
You can call the regular hotline numbers or your regular health care to be advised to what to do best and to be given the correct advice,” Best remarked.
Although three additional cases of COVID-19 have been reported, the island remains in stage one of the national preparedness plan. Best stated that public visitations to the state-owned hospital have been limited but further restrictions will be implemented once the outbreak intensifies.
To date, the Ministry of Health has conducted 70 tests for COVID-19 and 15 more are expected to occur today. The acting chief medical officer indicated that once the pandemic rises locally, the Ministry of Health will increase testing.
“We are going to continue daily testing. We would have explained previously that we are testing twice a day and that is going to continue until there is a demand for increased testing and then we will have to reassess our processes and protocols where that is concerned,” Best explained.
Prime Minister Mia Mottley informed the public that Government was trying to procure 50,000 testing kits as the pandemic continues.
Barbados is awaiting 5,000 tests soonest then a shipment of 20,000 and arrangements are to be confirmed for a further 25,000 test kits.
Young Barbdians told protect their elders
She outlined that the virus was likely to spread across the Barbadian population but its symptoms should predominantly be mild amongst the infected.
“We have to come to the reality that there will be a large number of Barbadians who will get the virus but I want to say to you the overwhelming majority will only have mild symptoms. Those mild symptoms will not even be symptoms that people will go to the doctor for,” she commented.
“There will be a few who will require medical treatment and medical advice and there will even be a smaller number who will require to be placed in an isolation facility and have the full medical treatment required,” she continued.
The Prime Minister warned the vulnerable groups, especially those over 70 to remain indoors and avoid the risk of infection. She advised family members to take care of the elderly and ensure they were protected.
“If you are over 70 don’t take the chance, stand home and rest yourself - read some books let the breeze come in on you, watch some tv, use the phone and talk to some people, cook for some the people but don’t come out on the road if you don’t have to.
“I have every confidence that the average Barbadian is prepared to carry the weight. Recognise that they don’t want their mother, grandmother, grandfather, grandaunt or grant uncle to be on the frontline. These are the same people who took care of us when we were young, who made sure we didn’t come into harm’s way that we can do it for them now,” Mottley said.