The Barbados government Friday sought to reassure citizens that their health status is not being compromised after the authorities allowed a cruise ship to dock here with at least six individuals testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“I can’t speak for the cruise ship and I don’t want to be able to do that, but I can safely say that we are assisting like we have been doing all the time and that assistance is being provided through the Best Dos Santos Lab doing the testing and the isolation facility at Harrison Point at this time has one person and we will continue to assist, we have the capacity to do so,” Health and Wellness Minister Lt Col. Jeffrey Bostic, said on Starcom Network.
He told radio listeners that “there is absolutely no compromise from our perspective in terms of public health…so there is nothing at all for Barbadians to be worried about.
Passengers on the Sea Dream 1 were informed of the first case aboard on Wednesday — five days into the week-long voyage — with Captain Torbjorn Lund announcing four new cases a day later.
The ship’s 53 passengers — 37 Americans and 16 other from the UK, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany — as well as non-essential crew are quarantining in their cabins after the cruise was halted and the ship returned to dock in Barbados.
Bostic said as of Thursday, “we would have tested I believe 34 people on Thursday when the ship reported that they had four persons on board ….who were positive and during our testing we have picked up six positive cases totally….but testing is ongoing”.
The Health and Wellness Minister said that no one is being allowed to leave the vessel and that “the cases that were on board the vessel were isolated on the vessel and we actually went on board the vessel…and we did the swabbing of those persons that were presumptive positive cases and we followed that through with contact tracing with the people on the vessel that’s why we were able to test 34 persons”.