Barbados government not 'hiding' COVID-19 cases
The number of cases of COVID-19 in the Caribbean presently stands at 68 (March 15, 4 pm) and government is stamping out rumours that Barbados is part of that number.
Health Minister, Jeffrey Bostic, speaking on CBC TV 8, said he has heard information circulating that in excess of 50 persons were being held at the quarantine and isolation facility in St Lucy.
The Minister said the public has been misinformed.
“I heard [they were] 67 persons at Harrison’s Point when the facility is not even ready yet. We take this thing very seriously and we will engage the country if we have a case in Barbados. We will keep people informed.”
The Minister spoke to an incident where an ambulance was reportedly called to a local hotel to collect a guest, who allegedly presented with symptoms of COVID-19. While not denying the incident, Minister Bostic said health officials were taking no chances when it comes to testing and isolation.
“We are in a situation where this will become the norm for as long as this virus is around and we are doing this because it is absolutely necessary for persons who present with symptoms who are within hotels, being able to be taken to a place where they can be tested… we want to isolate these persons until the test results come back."
Senior Medical Officer, Dr Arthur Phillips said he too has heard stories in the public sphere that government is “hiding cases”.
“I want to assure Barbados that we have no confirmed cases … if we have a case, the nation will be informed. This is a bad flu, it is not Ebola or SARS.”
The senior medical official encouraged Barbadians to continue to practice proper respiratory and hand hygiene as well social distancing away from persons who are sick. He said these methods are the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus.