Thursday, April 25, 2024

Variant warning

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Barbados’ ageing population, high rate of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and low vaccination rate could be the recipe for a local variant of COVID-19, warns president of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) Dr Lynda Williams.

Although Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George confirmed earlier this month that the Alpha variant (the British strain of COVID-19) was “fairly commonplace” in Barbados, she is renewing calls for a greater variant surveillance programme to determine what other strains are possibly circulating in the island.

Williams, a guest on Starcom Network’s Sunday Brass Tacks radio call-in programme yesterday, stressed the importance of knowing whether variants such as the highly-infectious Delta was prevalent, as that would determine if enough restrictions were in place to prevent further spread.

“BAMP has been consistently calling for variant surveillance and not just the opportunistic testing of a few samples, but for representative testing. We will continue to call for it until we see it because there is a need to have that knowledge within our population,” she said. (TG)

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