Health authorities have sought to assure schools, businesses and residents located around the virus isolation centre at Enmore on Collymore Rock that the area remains safe, after some members of the public raised alarm that a quarantine unit for the coronavirus (COVID-19) was in their backyard.
The centre – created six years ago – was identified to place anyone arriving in Barbados with symptoms related to COVID-19 in isolation and treat them.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George explained that in the construction of the centre, which has been in place since the public health threat posed by Ebola in 2014, special emphasis was placed on safety and security.
Dr George said: “There is a double filtration system that involves HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtration, as well as UV (ultraviolet) filtration.
“These systems combined make sure that all the air emanating from the facility is safe.”
The isolation centre had also been recognized by the Pan American Health Organization as being representative of “best practice”, and posed no risk to the public, he added.
The Chief Medical Officer emphasized: “This type of facility was so designed to not only treat Ebola, but also to treat any new and emerging respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19.
“In addition, there are bio-security features which relate to the movement of staff and patients into and out of the building.”
He stressed that the Ministry of Health would provide up-to-date information on COVID-19 and put all necessary measures in place to protect the public.