Wednesday 3 June, 2020

Rihanna-funded ventilators coming soon, others seized by US

(File Photo)
Minister Jeffrey Bostic

(File Photo) Minister Jeffrey Bostic

While the Barbados government awaits the shipment of medical equipment funded by Rihanna, the Mottley-administration is contemplating how to source critical supplies after a shipment of ventilators was seized by the United States (US). 

Last month it was announced that the singing sensation will donate $1.4 million to Government towards the purchase of ventilators. 

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Health and Wellness Minister, Col. Jeffrey Bostic informed the nation, during a live press briefing on Sunday that the ventilators funded by Rihanna will arrive on island within the next week.

Bostic disclosed that an additional shipment of 20 ventilators, donated by an unnamed philanthropist, was seized by the US. He said the export ban by the Trump-led administration has left government scrambling to find additional equipment.

"They were seized in the United States. Paid for, but seized, so we are trying to see exactly what is going to transpire there. We are using about four or five different sources and we are hopeful that we will be able to get what we want in this country."

Bostic said despite the logistical hiccups he is of the view that Barbados' health care system has adequate capacity to handle the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“I know people may be concerned with the increase in the number of confirmed cases. We need to get used to this because this will continue. The issue for me is not the number of confirmed cases but the capacity to be treat the cases. At the moment we have more than adequate capacity, we have structures that have not yet been utilized and we have Plan A to Plan Z."

As of April 5, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Barbados stood at 56 persons, with one death recorded, an 81-year-old male. 

He added, the Ministry is seeking more healthcare workers to lend assistance in the COVID-19 fight. 

"What we need is to have as many healthcare professionals on board, both public and private, so that when the need arises, when their services are required… we will have those resources available.”



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