Tuesday, April 16, 2024

PM tells Bajans in diaspora not to take health risks


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Prime Minister Mia Mottley told Barbadians living in the United States and Canada not to take any risks with their health as the holiday season approaches.

In a video message via social media last night, she noted with thanksgiving approaching, the United States has recorded 250 000 deaths from COVID-19, a “staggering, staggering, grim milestone”.

She was moved to make the video after watching the news on television.

“For some who feel that that country has 350 million people and that quarter million is not a lot, that may be so, but for us in Barbados who know that our population for a very long time was a quarter million, more than a decade, it really drives home the fact that the number of persons who have lost their lives in the US equates to literally the size of our population. And we have to pause and reflect on this thing,” she said.

Even with the vaccines in development by Pfizer and Moderna recording 95 per cent success rates, people are still dying, and among them are some from Barbados and the Caribbean, Mottley said.

Speaking to the Bajans abroad, she said in her inimitable style that “the turkey gon be there in 2021”, referring to the thanksgiving holiday on November 26 when many take the opportunity to return home to celebrate.

“You don’t need to rush next week and gather beyond what you’re supposed to be doing and put yourself at risk; don’t do it. Don’t do it. And to the other Barbadians in Canada and the UK, with the holiday season coming up, equally, watch yourself and don’t take foolish risks.”

She also told Barbadians at home although there is no community spread, we still have to observe the protocols “day by day” to keep us all safe, even as we continue to record imported cases.

The Prime Minister said she met with officials from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Ministry of Tourism, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and others on Wednesday to review the protocols that were in place for the last nine or ten months to see “how we can do better” because people become complacent.

Mottley sounded the note of caution and said we could still get COVID, pointing out the public health measures on wearing masks, sanitising hands, social distancing and avoiding large gatherings were even more important during this second wave of the viral illness.  (SAT)


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