Health authorities are investigating the death of an elderly Barbadian man possibly linked to COVID-19, Health and Wellness Minister Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic disclosed this evening.
In a statement Bostic said, “it was with a sense of sadness that I inform you that this country has recorded the death of Barbadian whose passing is being investigated by health officials as possibly related to COVID-19.
“ The 84-year-old gentleman reported to the Accident and Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) last night January 16 after starting to feel sick and he passed away at the Accident and Emergency Department.”
According to Bostic, the man who had a long history of lung disease and chronic non-communicable diseases passed away while his case was being fully evaluated by medical staff.
“Exercising an abundance of caution and thoroughness, medical staff at the QEH took blood samples for COVID-19 and the results of those tests now show that the patient was positive for COVID-19.”
The Minister, however, added, “I wish to caution the public that at this stage, we can only say that the death may be COVID related as the precise cause of death whether from COVID-19 or complications from his other illnesses could not be ascertained until the completion of a postmortem. Please let me assure the public that every precaution is being taken and all recommended safety protocols are being followed.”
Bostic said the Ministry of Health and Wellness has commenced contact tracing in respect of the medical personnel who handled the case and with family members of the deceased.
“Evidence available to the ministry at this time indicate that the source of the case will be easily traced,” he said.
Minister Bostic also revealed that a young female, a non-Barbadian, is in critical condition at the Harrison Point Isolation Facility, St Lucy.
“ Having recorded no deaths from COVID-19 in Barbados in recent months, this is indeed sad news.
The Government continues to appeal to the public to follow known safety guidelines such as wearing masks in the correct way, washing and sensitising hands frequently and keeping a distance of six feet from persons who do not live in your household.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness extend deepest condolences to the family of the deceased,” Bostic said.