A COVID-19 group of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) is calling for the strengthening of security protocols for visitors in quarantine.
At the same time, while urging residents not to panic, the association’s task force is advocating for a second testing of individuals from medium and high-risk countries five to seven days after their arrival in Barbados even as officials continue to battle a local outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
The call has come on the heels of reports that some visitors to the island have been breaching quarantine.
The latest has been British reality TV star Zara Holland, who arrived on the island December 27 and was tested for the coronavirus the following day. She is to appear in court on Wednesday.
Just last week, Jamaican national Dean Scott was sentenced to six months in prison for breaking quarantine. Days before that, Tyrique Anderson Akeem Thornhill was given six months to come up with $6,000 in fines after he was found guilty of breaking quarantine.
Last weekend, local authorities also reported that they were confronted with an outbreak due to a “super spreader” event in the form of a bus crawl, which was held on Boxing Day.
The task force said: “In infectious disease pandemics, there is always a period of calm before the storm. Unfortunately for Barbados in the past few days, the winds of the COVID-19 storm are now blowing. This, however, is not a cause for panic.
“Our level-headedness, good governance and the grace of God have brought us thus far and will allow us to ultimately overcome.
Our latest recommendations issued publicly on December 23, 2020, renewed our call for urgent examination of existing testing, travel and quarantine protocols.
“We will continue to advocate for second- testing of persons from medium and high-risk countries five to seven days after arrival in the island, as well as strengthening of protocols around security of visitors in quarantine. We highlight these now only because we fear that success in quelling this current outbreak may be shortlived if importation of the virus is not also addressed.” (MM)