Friday 3 July, 2020

Barbados has the secret to containing COVID-19 - Cooperation!

Face coverings are part and parcel of the COVID-19 fight. (FILE)

Face coverings are part and parcel of the COVID-19 fight. (FILE)

- How has Barbados been able to get its active COVID-19 cases down to zero?

Minister of Health Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic posits that the key to this success is one thing - cooperation! 

The Minister said that it did not just happen "just like that". Despite the total-government approach and the hard work of the frontline staff in all sectors across the island, the buy-in of the citizens, residents and visitors on island between March 16 and now (June 26) was crucial. 

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"We could not have reached this point unless we had the cooperation and the support of the ordinary Barbadian man, and all other persons residing here. This is what really made a difference. You collaborated," he said. 

Recognising that there was nothing normal about living with the global COVID-19 pandemic - the outbreak and spread, the Minister said that Bajans were troopers who in most cases have been called on to do things they have never done before to help the country fight and contain this disease.

"We asked you to start, to embark on a journey that you had never taken before for the most part. Most Barbadians never experienced a curfew, most Barbadians never experienced isolation, solitude, deprivation. All of these were required and a level of discipline for us to be able to reach where we have reached today. 

"I'm saying a big 'Thank you' on behalf of the government of Barbados to all Barbadians for your cooperation and your support."

To further demonstrate the high level of support from the Barbadian public, Bostic said that returning nationals who came home prior to the mandatory quarantine mandate (March 28) complied fully when health officials issued a public service announcement asking them to urgently make contact with the Ministry of Health. 

The Minister said:

"People responded overwhelmingly and through that, we were able to test persons who would have been missed [at the point of entry], some of who tested positive, but because of the cooperation, we were able to isolate them, do the contact tracing and contain that situation."

What's next for Barbadians?

Though grateful for the support to date, the Minister is reminding citizens and residents not to rest on their laurels now for COVID-19 is not gone.

He urged Barbadians to continue to cooperate even as the curfew ends on July 1 and many restrictions are dropped.

"And so I say to all Barbadians and residents today, this is one of those situations where our destiny is not in the hands of any foreign government, our destiny is in our hands. When we come together, when we work together, when we cooperate, we would be strong.

"And so I say, we've done well but let us not begin to become complacent. Continue to be our brother's keeper and look out for each other."

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