The Barbados government is stressing that there are no COVID-19 cases in Barbados as Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announces a coronavirus coordinator to oversee the national response to the virus threat.

She stressed that authorities are fully on top of the situation and said there was no need for panic, including rushing to stock up on supplies.

Speaking to media managers and editors during a special briefing this morning, Miss Mottley disclosed that the Ministry of Health yesterday presented to cabinet a comprehensive pandemic preparedness plan.

Meantime, Richard Carter has been named coordinator for the national preparedness effort.

He was asked to take on the role, having worked for the British government helping tackle the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone for about four years.

He was concerned about those who were using social media to spread panic through misinformation, calling this criminal behaviour.

It was disclosed that Barbados has sourced an additional five hundred testing kits to ensure adequate capacity to test suspected cases.

And medical officer responsible for port health, Dr. Arthur Phillips says surveillance of people arriving here has also been increased.

Prime Minister Mottley also outlined efforts to lessen the financial impact on individuals and businesses and said the budget presentation will be postponed.