Sunday, April 21, 2024

No new COVID-19 cases, ministry awaiting swabs


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For the fourth day straight there are no new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases recorded in Barbados, but Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic is warning that the country is not yet out of the danger zone.

He also revealed today that one frontline worker had earlier tested positive for the virus but that had been “dealt with”.

The minister was at the time touring the Field Medical Facility (FMF) set up by the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, ER Walrond Clinical Skills Building. The facility is located at Jemmott Lane, St Michael.

Along with the negative tests out of the 35 done since Saturday, Bostic also said that two more people were released from isolation having recovered from the illness.

The FMF, under the charge of Dr David Byer, the medical consultant attached to the emergency services of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Major Junior Browne, the coordinator for the BDF medical team, will handle respiratory cases first seen at the hospital and transferred to the facility for swabbing and to await the results of testing. 

“I will say to you that up to this point of time we do not have any evidence except for one case earlier and that was dealt with and there are no issues going forward. We had one case,” stated Bostic when pressed about frontline workers contracting the illness. 

Though he was encouraged by the negative tests, Bostic urged members of the public not to let their guard down.

“We have to continue with what we are doing. We are encouraged but we know very well that there is no certainty as to whether or not we have cases out there in the community. That is something we are trying to find out on a daily basis and when we are able to get some more swabs into the country that we can expand even further the amount of persons we are testing daily that would then give us a better idea.

“So we still have a couple weeks to go before we can say exactly where we are but we are indeed encouraged by the last few days,” he said.

Bostic said there was a shortage of swabs but some were expected within “a week or so” and, once in hand, along with the adequate number of testing kits, tests could be done more widespread. (AC)


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