Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic, Minister of Health and Wellness.
Health minister says lockdown was useful
According to Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic, the two-day, mandatory, national stay-at- home order has worked and the national effort by Barbadians has been very useful in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Barbados.
Lt Col Bostic, Minister of Health and Wellness, made these comments during a streamed statement yesterday evening. He explained that by staying off the road and staying in their homes, the period has given the ministry and healthcare service a better operating environment.
“This period, from the perspective of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, gave our health-care professionals a better environment in which to operate and to help you,” said Bostic.
The minister explained that contact tracing and Operation Seek and Save always worked more efficiently when people were at home and in a more relaxed and accommodating frame of mind. He also highlighted that the quiet roads over the last 48 hours have allowed many of the seniors and vulnerable persons on the island to receive their Oxford AstraZeneca
vaccinations in calm and more organised circumstances, including a drive-thru centre.
The health minister however lamented the fact that he is running out of ways to beg people to stay off the road during the curfew, which lasts until February 28. He contended that there is no reason for persons to run to the supermarket every day for two and three items, noting that the risk is significant, especially to those who these people returned home to.
“The challenge we face tomorrow, however, is that we cannot account for the behaviours of persons, once given the green light to leave the boundaries of their homes. Instead of keeping still and remembering to restrict activity and movement, people cannot wait to be on the streets again,” said the minister.
Lt Col Bostic also highlighted his concern that despite numerous messages about what to do, and the availability of hotlines open and manned by professionals to respond to questions and queries and give guidance, persons are remaining in their homes while experiencing all the symptoms of coronavirus infection.
“Let me remind you, the symptoms of which you need to be careful are similar to a cold, runny nose, headache, loss of taste or smell, fever, what Bajans call “bad feels”, sore throat, sinus drips. If you have any combination of these symptoms do not try treating yourself. Do not remain at home. Get medical help,” he urged.
Stay at home
Again making his plea to Barbadians, Bostic asked the nation to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. He stated that the positivity rate is double what the ministry of health and wellness is hoping for and they need all Barbadians to continue to help contain the spread.
“We now have control over what we do today and what we do tomorrow. If we faithfully follow the protocols and minimise our movement, in other words stay home, that is what will lead to an improvement in our numbers and our success in battling this awful virus. We will see those improvements in a week or two,” he said.
“Once again, I implore you not to leave home if you do not absolutely have to. You are not supposed to go to work physically, if you do not have to. You are not supposed to be in the supermarkets and minimarts, more than you absolutely need to. We have it in us to influence the test results that the country gets next week and the week after, we just need to follow the protocols and really, really stay at home,”