Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Barbados records two cases of coronavirus

Published:Tuesday | March 17, 2020 | 9:34 AM
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley - Contributed photo

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados government Tuesday confirmed its first two cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and appealed to nationals not to panic but to follow preventative measures.

Health Minister Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, in a statement, said that the two cases were “imported” from the United States earlier this month and included a national.

“Barbados has recorded its first two cases of COVID-19. A 48-year-old visitor to the island and a 39-year-old Barbadian female, both of whom came into the island from the United States. After experiencing symptoms, they were referred to the medical team at the Ministry of Health and Wellness for further evaluation,” he said

Bostic said that the laboratory confirmed earlier on Tuesday that the tests were positive.

“They will remain in isolation until they recover. As Minister of Health and Wellness in Barbados, I am committed to doing all in my power to protect the health and ensure the safety of every person resident here,” he said.

Barbados joins Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname, St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Bahamas where cases of the virus have been reported in recent days.

Meanwhile, the Barbados government has defended its decision not to institute a ban on all travel as well as to close its borders after several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have announced such measures as they react to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“At this stage in time, we believe that we have taken the right decisions to increase our pre-screening, to have information so that we can do the contact tracing and to ensure that we can keep as many people functioning without necessarily affecting the vulnerable groups,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said.

“We accept that we are dealing with an outbreak that will affect probably three to eight out of every thousand in a fatal way. But in fact, we may affect more if we immediately close our borders, ensuring that people who depend on a weekly wage or for whom this is the only source of income may not be able to feed themselves; buy what they need day-to-day to sustain their families,” she added.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.