The Government’s Czar coordinating the fight against COVID-19 tonight hinted at concerns among health authorities that asymptomatic people may be spreading the virus, which could “undermine” the fight against the potentially lethal infection.
Touching on the COVID-19 cases among workers at that National Assistance Board, now numbering six who have tested positive for the virus, he expressed concern that some of the patients showed no signs of illness.
He said: “One of the things that we have identified through the NAB cases is that two of the cases that we diagnosed were asymptomatic so it is quite possible that they are persons out there carrying COVID-19 who are not aware that they are infected and who could possibly be spreading the disease to other persons.
“I know that the Government is conducting a review of the restrictions. I know the Government is very sensitive to the fact that those restrictions under review, the advice would be to ensure that Barbadians can breathe but make sure we do not compromise the health care system and the public health gains that we have made.”
In an update on the state of the health crisis, Carter told CBC News Night that the number of COVID-19 cases was currently down but that Government still had to ensure that the nothing is done to “undermine the gains”.
He said: “My advice would be to essentially make sure that we are maintaining control over the epidemic and in order to maintain control we still have to have a measure of restriction because as long as there is a single live case in the country you have COVID-19 present in the country and we currently have over 30 live cases; that is, persons who are within care we do not know whether or not there are other cases out there”
In what has become a constant sore point among health authorities battling the disease, the Czar again cautioned against spreading rumours which could serve to hurt others and undermine anti-virus work.
Carter declared: “I must say that history will not deal kindly to that small unpatriotic and reckless minority who turn their attention every day to spending rumour and misinformation knowing it to be untrue and calculated to cause distress and harm.
“Look at what we are talking about; we are talking about NAB staff. The irony of this is these are people who are in service of the most vulnerable and needy citizens our elderly and to think that some persons with whom I hare citizenship and birthright would use this as an opportunity to lie and spread rumour shame on you.
Carter also reported that the Adopt A Family programme has received $883,000,
The programme, which is designed to bring relief to vulnerable households during the pandemic, has seen hundreds of businesses and people rallying to the cause.
Carter said: “Since this programme has been actually announced by the Prime Minister, we have had donations from 257 companies and individuals. Donations were made ranging from $20 up to $250 000.
“We currently have over $883 000 received from the generosity of Barbadians. We would really like to thank Barbadians profoundly for their generosity even as many of them struggle with their own needs. This is the kind of response that is needed at this time for Barbadians.”