Barbados has achieved a major goal in its fight against COVID-19.
Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic has revealed that for the first time the country had reached its target of 25 cases per 100, 000, following a positivity rate of 1.04 per cent during the past week.
Speaking during the Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) three-year anniversary virtual conference on Sunday, Bostic said the country continued to make significant strides in its war against the respiratory virus that has claimed over 3.47 million lives worldwide.
The minister said along with the decreasing number of COVID-19 positive cases being identified, thousands of Barbadians were now fully vaccinated having received their second doses.
“The seven day average positivity now stands at 1.04 per cent and for the first time, we have now reached our goal of having over a period of 14 days, 25 cases per 100, 000 population.
“I am also happy to report that we have now vaccinated over 70, 000 persons with the first dose and over 51, 000 who have been fully vaccinated,” Bostic said to rapturous applause.
Despite those efforts, Bostic told Barbadians that his ministry ought not to be judged on its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, he said it should be judged on its ability to provide quality health care across the country.
“Under my watch and with the most valued support of the permanent secretary, the chief medical officer and the entire team, the Ministry of Health and Wellness must not be characterized by our management of COVID, but rather by the progress that we are making in realizing the dream and fulfilling the mandate given to me by the Prime Minister to take health care into the nooks and crannies of this country and I say that that is something that with God’s grace and God being the anchor, we will achieve,” Bostic said.
The minister also used the opportunity to give an update on the many achievements of the ministry during the past three years.
He said the long awaited refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) Accident and Emergency Department would soon be completed and would be open to the public “on the weekend of June 12”.
Bostic said since coming into office over 1000 public health care workers had been appointed, pass rates for nurses attending regional examinations had increased from 26.5 per cent in 2018 to 74 per cent in 2020 and that there had been extensive refurbishments carried out at several hospitals across the island, including the QEH. ([email protected])