Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic has announced that the mandatory Stay at Home order ends at 6 am tomorrow but the curfew remains in effect until the 28th of the month as he stressed that the rate of covid 19 infections in Barbados is still far too high.
Colonel Bostic says the rate is still twice what the authorities would like to see and indicated that were it not for the need to allow commerce and economic activity to resume the Stay at Home Order would probably be extended.
The minister also emphasized that only “absolutely essential” businesses will be allowed to reopen tomorrow.
He said that while the last two days was very useful in helping to control the spread of covid 19 in Barbados the situation is far from satisfactory.
Colonel Bostic stated that the Stay at Home Weekend facilitated the Seek and Save exercise as people were required to stay at their residences.
He also noted that many seniors were vaccinated during the period.
The minister declared that while the national stop worked he couldn’t account for what people would do once they were allowed to leave home again.
Colonel Bostic appealed to the public to stay off the streets as much as possible and to limit their visits to supermarkets and pharmacies. And, he complained about youngsters liming on the blocks without wearing masks.
The health minister believes that too
many people are staying at home with covid 19 symptoms without reporting them to the authorities or seeking medical help.
The covid 19 numbers were not improving as quickly as he would like and he indicated that was why he favored recommeding a longer lock down were it not for the economic considerations.
It was disclosed that 57 new covid 19 cases, 53 of them Barbadians, were identified out of
756 tests completed yesterday.
Colonel Bostic believes the number of cases is still far too high after a two week national pause and declared that Barbados still has a long way to go in bringing the outbreak under control.
He reported testing is now up to date with the backlog having been eliminated after a stressful period due to unavailability of testing supplies.
It was revealed that the numbers at the isolation centers are now much higher than previously, in fact, the minister described them as being “unprecedented”.
Government now plans to put into quarantine hotels people who are waiting for their test results in crowded homes.
The people waiting for test results have also been urged to stay at home as in the minister’s words “the battle against covid ranges on”.
The national vaccination program is said to be on track with 16,111 vaccines administered as of midday today and the number expected to exceed 20 thousand by the end of the week.
Colonel Bostic appealed to people not to “rush” the centers as vaccinations are being rolled out in a structured manner. People with appointments will be given priority,40 thousand vaccines are left to be administered and another shipment is due.