Prominent family physician Dr Adrian Lorde has urged health authorities to stop giving Barbadians false hope and tell the truth about the fight against the virus.
In an almost five-minute-long video posted on social media Monday, Dr Lorde said the situation seems to be getting out of order and indicated that he was looking forward to UN envoy Elizabeth Thompson assuming her position as head of the COVID-19 communications team so that she can accurately provide answers regarding the island’s COVID-19 fight for Barbadians.
He said Ambassador Thompson’s arrival is timely, considering that Government officials who have been publicly speaking on the island’s COVID-19 fight in recent weeks, including Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Cabinet Sub-Committee Chair Senator Dr Jerome Walcott, Minister of Health Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic, and Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams, appear to be tired while the number of COVID-19 cases has climbed to 884 in a matter of days.
Dr Lorde said: “We need to know the truth, because the COVID hotline, there are no more lines, people can’t get through. That number for the tourism thing, that is not working either. The lab categorization sections, 1, 2 and 3, the lab don’t even know anything about that, and the Shape App [in use for COVID-19 testing] for providers may be working in polyclinics, but that is not up and running as it should either. So we are giving people a false sense of security. Information that is not entirely correct, or may be premature.”
Dr Lorde, a sports medicine specialist with a long-standing general practice, said that in light of the country recording 884 positive COVID-19 cases, and seven deaths, with 478 patients in isolation, Barbadians need to protect themselves. He said even though cases are coming out of the Boxing Day bus crawl and clusters on the West Coast, people need to safeguard themselves because, in his opinion, “things are getting out of order”.
He declared: “We are getting too many cases. The numbers are as, the president said, skyrocketing downwards. There is a downward trend, but that don’t seem like that to me and those are the confirmed cases, because the lab has several samples that they haven’t tested yet, for days. Scores of people gone to the airport yesterday, couldn’t get on the flights, had to cancel, we going to pay for that? I don’t know”.
Dr Lorde also warned the head of the Harrison’s Point coronavirus hospital, Dr Corey Forde, whom Prime Minister Mottley announced last week could be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to make sure that “if you getting the first vaccine it has the second dose”.
“And I hope it is the Pfizer BioNTech because that is the only one that is approved by the World Health Organization (WHO),” he added.
The doctor also questioned if provisions are being made for the vaccinations to be stored at the appropriate temperature. He said to his knowledge, only the Barbados Fertility Centre has facilities “to store anything at minus 70 [degrees Celsius]”.
He added: “But let us know Ambassador Thompson, if those refrigerators are in place and if the generators are in place in case we bring out storage of vaccines and then the electricity goes off.
“But Ambassador Thompson, wait, you have to get your second test today. I hope you get the results before Friday because we need you to start working. Let’s get the systems working. It has been ten months since we had the virus, the pandemic is here, and still, things are not working as they should.
“Overwhelmed? We should have predicted that when we saw what was happening overseas. So let’s get things in place. Protect yourself in the meantime here, that  is confirmed, we have several others out there that ain’t confirmed that have not been tested, so you can get it too.” (AH)