Saturday 8 August, 2020

COVID-19 Czar defends decision not to shutdown NAPSAC Final

COVID-19 Czar Richard Carter

COVID-19 Czar Richard Carter

The decision to let the National Primary School Athletic Competition (NAPSAC) 2020 Final proceed without interference or disruption has been defended by the government's advisor on COVID-19.

In a televised national update, COVID-19 Czar Richard Carter said that the decision was not taken willy-nilly.

As the person appointed by Barbados' government to advise on and coordinate policy in a regard to the novel coronavirus, he said:

"It would have been more difficult to go into the [National] Stadium and stop those little ones from travelling [sic]. And besides, we would have evaluated this in terms of the risks."

Carter explained it was decided that the low risk associated outweighed the difficulties which may have arisen with cancelling the event. In attendance at the NAPSAC Final (March 17) were hundreds of children, teachers, parents and officials from primary schools all over Barbados.

After the stands at the Stadium were almost packed with athelets and spectators, the notice was made by the Health Minister around 10 am, that Barbados had its first two confirmed cases of COVID-19. Testing positive were a 48-year-old visitor to the island and a 39-year-old Barbadian. Both have a recent travel history. They came to Barbados from the United States of America.

He explained:

"The NAPSAC Final had already started when the communication was made. [...] Now having identified two imported cases, who, and that is a success actually of our screening and testing system, two cases that were immediately or more or less immediately isolated, what is the risk to children at the National Stadium who would have had absolutely no contact with these persons. And that was basically the decision that was made."

When the final event occurred around 4pm, and the points were tallied, lifting the trophies were Boys Champions St George Primary and the Girls Champs West Terrace Primary.

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