As the nation prepared to enter a 15-day lockdown Wednesday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley has called on Barbadians to use the opportunity to pause, rest, reflect and renew.
During her last address to the nation before the “National Pause” took effect from midnight, Mottley warned Barbadians that they couldn’t “cheat and beat COVID” and advised them not to drop their guard.
From Wednesday until February 17, a dusk-to-dawn curfew will be in effect while businesses not
considered essential are to remain closed for the next 15 days.
With the second lockdown in nine months to combat the spread of COVID-19, Mottley urged people to adhere to the protocols and to be each other’s keeper.
But she complained that despite the warnings and the seriousness of the situation, not enough people were following the rules.
In a live national address from Ilaro Court Tuesday morning, Mottley said: “We need now to be able to spread the message to everyone. There are still too many people regrettably who are not wearing masks, there are still too many people who are gathering unnecessarily and I want to remind Barbadians that this thing is not playing, this thing is real and to that extent, I am asking every one of us to join the effort in being able to encourage persons in our communities, in our households.
“As I drove through the country, as I looked at markets, as I looked at shops, as I looked at other areas, for the most part, we are still not quite where we need to be. For sure there are a lot more people wearing masks today than were before, but do we have enough, probably not, and we need to redouble our efforts, breathe and come again.”
The Prime Minister insisted that the restrictions were not intended to “hurt anybody” but simply to contain the spread of the potentially fatal respiratory illness.
“Regrettably this is not about hurting anybody or any shops being unfaired,” she declared. “It is fundamentally about being able to stop this virus from finding hosts, from finding people to go on and to go after…
“So by one person not being careful that can multiply within seven days to 4,096 persons.
“Now I am not trying to scare anybody but I want us to be real…you can’t cheat and beat COVID.
“Do not drop your guard because … what happens to us is literally when it spreads in that one moment.”
Mottley also urged residents to stay at home, pointing out that a reduction in movement would greatly reduce the possibility of the virus being spread.
The Prime Minister also asked Barbadians to pause on Sunday at noon for five minutes of reflection. ([email protected])