Thursday 29 October, 2020

Government launches programs to help locals cope with COVID-19

(FILE) Richard Carter, COVID-19 czar  for Barbados.

(FILE) Richard Carter, COVID-19 czar for Barbados.

Government has announced it will be launching three initiatives to help citizens cope with the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

COVID-19 Czar, Richard Carter revealed the initiatives led by the Health Emergency Operations Centre include a cyber-social well-being and mental health outreach programme, a creative arts competition for teenagers, and a community outreach programme for the elderly. 

Carter explained that due to the restrictions of the national shutdown, families, and communities have been affected both mentally and psychologically. The cyber-social well-being and health programme headed by Government will offer support to those adversely impacted. 

The elderly, who also fall into the at-risk group, will receive assistance from the COVID-19 Response Unit in the Prime Minister's Office through a community outreach health programme designed for senior citizens. 

"This is going to reach out to elderly persons especially those living alone to check up on their health and their circumstance because we have been saying from the beginning that this population represents a very vulnerable part of our population and we are going to do everything within our power to reach out to them, to support them to remain healthy to minimize the exposure that they are experiencing," Carter said. 

In a bid to highlight the fight against COVID-19 and to encourage locals to stay indoors and practice social distancing, a virtual arts competition managed by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) will soon be launched. The COVID-19 czar stated that only teenagers will be eligible to participate. 

"We [are] seeking to engage young people as influencers, teenage children, to embrace their creativity and for them to see themselves as actors in the fight against COVID-19. There is a lot of influencing potential and creative potential amongst young people and we want to harness that and use that as part of the response towards COVID-19," Carter explained. 


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