Wed | May 27, 2020

Ventilators destined for Barbados from US seized

Published:Monday | April 6, 2020 | 9:35 AM
Barbados Health Minister Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic - Contributed photo

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC –  Health Minister Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic has sought to assure the country that there is no shortage of ventilators despite the fact that a shipment of the medical equipment destined for the island from the United States were recently seized.

Bostic, speaking during a press conference on Sunday, revealed that the ventilators donated to the Barbados Government as an act of philanthropy were barred from exportation.

“They were seized in the United States. Paid for, but seized, so we are trying to see exactly what is going to transpire there.”

He noted that ventilators are one of the most in-demand items in the world today and “Barbados is merely wrestling with the other 203 countries and territories around the world seeking to secure as many of these pieces of equipment as possible.”

He said that Barbados-born international pop sensation Rihanna donated some ventilators but these were not among those seized and will arrive in the island shortly.

Bostic also reacted to a comment made by leader of the main opposition Democratic Labour Party Verla DePeiza concerning the supply of ventilators in the country.

He disclosed that over 150 ventilators had been ordered and paid for through five different sources and stressed that Prime Minister Mottley had made an “open cheque” available for the purchase of such critical supplies.

“So it is absurd for anyone to say, suggest, imply or insinuate that there is a shortage or could in the foreseeable future be an acute shortage of ventilators on the island.”

“We have an adequate amount of ventilators at this point and ventilators have been arriving almost daily over the past two weeks or so. But up to this point, we have only had to use three ventilators,” he said.

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