Monday 23 November, 2020

CDC tells travellers COVID-19 risk high in Barbados, resources limited

Natalie Hutchinson, Senior Development Officer, High Commission of Canada to Barbados and OECS along with Dr Yitades Gebre, PAHO/WHO Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean handed over the donation to Lt Col Jeffery Bostic, Minister of Health and Wellness at the PAHO/WHO Office in Barbados on July 15. (Photo credit: PAHO)

Natalie Hutchinson, Senior Development Officer, High Commission of Canada to Barbados and OECS along with Dr Yitades Gebre, PAHO/WHO Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean handed over the donation to Lt Col Jeffery Bostic, Minister of Health and Wellness at the PAHO/WHO Office in Barbados on July 15. (Photo credit: PAHO)

Two days after the Chief Medical Officer in Barbados, prompted by the Prime Minister, disclosed that Barbados has over 100,000 COVID-19 tests available on island, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has cautioned travellers that if they get sick in Barbados "resources are limited".

Dr Kenneth George on Wednesday (August 5) during a televised and streamed press conference:

"I would like to assure the public that there we have on island sufficient testing kits and all equipment and supplies that are required to mount a COVID response whether that be from PPE we have several stores of PPE and we have also gotten kind donations from PAHO, kind donations from the Chinese government, the UAE, so Barbados has been abe to replenish a lot of our supplies based on kind donations from overseas."

Prime Minister Mia Mottley confirmed that Barbados has "just over 100,000 test kits" and "in terms of PPE and others we now have a significant supply as a result of not just PAHO but WHO sent in last week (July 26) as you saw when I went to the airport to meet the Canadian plane that brought them for Barbados and the rest of the region and I'd like to publicly thank the United Arab Emirates for their very kind donation not just to Barbados but to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)."

Issuing a Level 3 Warning on its website last reviewed today (August 7), in response to the question of 'What is the current situation in Barbados?' the CDC stated:

"COVID-19 risk in Barbados is high. CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to Barbados. Some examples of essential travel may include traveling for humanitarian aid work, medical reasons, or family emergencies. Older adults, people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions, and others at increased risk for severe illness should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel, to Barbados."

Furthermore, it went on to explicitly add: "If you get sick in Barbados and need medical care, resources may be limited. Plan ahead and learn more about Getting Health Care Abroad.

"If you get sick with COVID-19 (or test positive for COVID-19, even if you have no symptoms) while abroad, you may be isolated or not be permitted to return to the United States until you have recovered fully from your illness. If you get exposed to a person with COVID-19 while abroad, you may be quarantined or not be permitted to return to the United States until 14 days after your last exposure."

An additional key point shared on the CDC's page advised travellers to "check with the Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health of Barbados or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine."

The three levels of advisories by the CDC are as follows:

  • Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions
  • Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
  • Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel

Loop News has reached out to the CDC but has not received a response up to the time of publication at 2.30 pm (August 7) to query the Level 3 Warning based on the CDC primary and secondary criteria.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: