Tuesday, April 16, 2024

COVID-19 Czar repeats call for caution


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COVID-19 czar Richard Carter has repeated calls for Barbadians to keep their guard up even though Government has significantly relaxed restrictions imposed to curb spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic.

He has asked Barbadians to comply with all COVID-19 protocols as he had seen evidence of some people “dropping their guard”.

While speaking to Barbados Government Information Service, he outlined methods each sector and the average Barbadian can use as the country adjusts to living with the virus.

“We must remember that the relaxation of the restrictions come with a greater responsibility for observation of the protocols that have been put in place. They have been put in place to protect all of us; they have been put in place under the guidance and direction of the Ministry of Health and Wellness; and apart from being law, they are also restrictions that are going to enable us to get past COVID-19.

“My reminder is for business places to continue to uphold those protocols in respect of persons who are entering the business place; to continue to observe the temperature testing if that is required; to continue to observe the physical distancing of persons when they are on their premises; to continue to look at rotation of their own staff; and allow them to work from home to minimize the level of congestion in the business place.”

In relation to the public transportation sector, which is now back to full capacity in vehicles, Carter said drivers, conductors, and the travelling public must wear their masks and practise good hygiene.

Carter said Barbados had gotten to this stage because the majority of its citizens were compliant.

“We don’t want to place our health care workers, who have been doing an excellent job, at even greater risk by having more COVID-19 cases. 

“We have to ensure that we are able to get back to a place where, as a society, we have confidence in going back to our health care practitioners, or accessing health care because we know there are a number of persons who have postponed, or put on hold their seeking of health care, as a consequence of concerns pertaining to COVID-19.

“So, we want to get back as close as possible to a society that we have come to love and enjoy, but we can only do that if persons are compliant,” he pointed out.

Carter described Government’s handling of the virus as mature, saying the decisions taken had been based on evidence, science, and guidance from the public health authorities.

He noted that Government had not followed the line established by other countries. “Barbados has crafted its own direction on the basis of its own determination of what needs to be done. I think that it has been successful; the evidence is there. We have not had a case of local transmission for over a month and that could only have come as a result of the work and the efforts of the COVID-19 response that the Government of Barbados has mounted,” the Czar said.

To date, Barbados has conducted 6 960 tests, and 97 people have been diagnosed with the viral illness; 83 of them have recovered; seven are in isolation; and seven have died. (BGIS)


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