Thursday, April 25, 2024

Doctors again plead with Barbadians to play it safe


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Two doctors in the frontline of the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the island made another impassioned plea for Barbadians to change their behaviour.

Both Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George and Isolation Facilities Manager Dr Corey Forde said the current situation confronting the island in the battle against the viral illness was “not in a good place”.

George said all the current indices that the Ministry of Health & Wellness monitors were trending upwards.

“The COVID-19 trajectory continues to show a steady increase in newly confirmed cases,” George said during a virtual news conference on Wednesday.

“The overall risk of transmission in the country continues to be very high and there is ongoing community transmission and circulation of highly transmissible variants, which is the Delta variant.”

He added: “Barbadians we are not in a good place. Infection is widespread. We are seeing on a daily basis – even reported in the newspapers – people are not heeding the calls from public health officials.

“Individuals continue not to wear masks in public places. They continue to socialise with each other in close proximity. And the issue is the vaccine uptake is not where we would like.”

Dr Corey Forde (GP)

Forde said the situation in the isolation facilities were so difficult that the secondary facility, which typically accommodated moderately ill patients needing close monitoring and treatment, was now running like the primary facility, where the severely ill are treated.

“I came to the country at least two weeks ago and I was very clear to the country that we were about to enter into a storm …and this is where we are,” he said.

“I do not have to say much. You see the numbers every day. All we do as healthcare professionals across the system is to try to help. We are not going to get everything right and we are not going to get everything perfect… But we will do the best we can.”

He said: “We are in a difficult time. It is very difficult for those in the isolation facilities. It is also difficult for the staff across the facilities. It is also difficult for those in the Ministry of Health who are working hard trying to keep us above those difficult clouds that we have entered.

“It is what we do out there as fellow citizens that will allow us to get through this storm or get to the calm, or we will not.”

Both doctors urged Barbadians either to get vaccinated to add another layer of protection from contracting the illness, or strictly follow the public health guidelines of mask wearing, sanitising hands and physical distancing in crowded places. (AR)


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