The St Lucy District Hospital has been earmarked as a quarantine centre to monitor high-risk coronavirus cases.
Minister of Health and Wellness Colonel Lt Jeffrey Bostic made the announcement in Parliament today, where he requested $1.5 million to fully equip the quarantine facilities with necessary tools and equipment.
He also announced that authorities were currently monitoring 19 people considered low risk, who have been asked to remain at their homes.
Bostic, who explained that these persons were under surveillance due to their recent travel history, indicated that over the past few weeks, about 46 persons were being monitored.
He said some of them have already left the island, while others completed the 14-day quarantine period and were considered good to go after a final check.
“The St Lucy District Hospital has been earmarked and was utilised as a quarantine centre during the time of SARS. And so the funds that we are seeking to obtain here today really are required to have those facilities retrofitted as a quarantine station.
“And I repeat, these are not sick persons, these are not persons who have presented with symptoms, these are persons, based on their travel history and the possibility that they might have interacted with other persons, out of the abundance of caution, we want to bring them in for observation in a controlled environment.
“In the unlikely event that we have persons who present with symptoms, then those persons will be removed from that environment immediately and those persons will be taken now to the next facility which is the Infections Control Centre of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) which is located at Enmore,” Bostic said.
Bostic also reiterated that Government was doing its best to fight the threat, including monitoring the island’s ports of entry, and educating communities about the deadly virus which originated in the stricken Chinese city of Wuhan.
And as he urged the public to remain confident in the health care system, Bostic cautioned Barbadians against spreading rumours, which had the potential to create unnecessary panic.