Manager of Isolations Facilities and Head of the Infection Prevention and Control/Infectious Disease Programmes Dr Corey Forde is warning the younger population not to drop their guard because positive COVID-19 numbers have been falling.
He gave the advice as he noted, with concern, that within recent weeks, persons mainly between the ages of 17 and 40 have been admitted to the isolation centre at Harrison Point.
Dr Forde told Barbados TODAY that the decline in positive cases was not an indication that Barbadians, particularly young people, should throw caution to the wind.
“We just cannot drop the guard at this point. I think we have come such a long way as a country. We have come a long way from where we were in February. I think we look back at February and it seems like a year away, but despite the gains, we still have to continue to look at the challenges that might follow us ahead and that is what we are doing right now,” he said.
“This is what has saved us in the past, from way back in December 2019, and this is what will save us – anticipation, looking and seeing what is going on in the rest of the world and looking to make decisions based on what’s going on around you and not just looking at things in a vacuum.
“This pandemic has shown us, a small country on the globe, that we do not live in a bubble…. No one wants to go back into a lockdown again. I think if we do the things that would prevent us from getting to that, then we should be okay,” he added.
Dr Forde, who noted that Barbados has been making strides in its COVID-19 fight in recent weeks, said there were three people in primary and secondary isolation, including two males and one female, and they were all recovering well. He added there were other persons between 17 and 40 years old in tertiary isolation.
The specialist said that with the fight not yet over, employees at Harrison Point are continuously working in the trenches, and over the past three weeks they have been participating in retraining sessions to ensure they too do not drop their guard.
Dr Forde pointed out that although COVID-19 numbers have also fallen internationally, some countries were experiencing a third wave and Barbados must be prepared.
“So we are doing a lot of preparation right now at the training level, and we continue to maintain the human resources at the facility. But, additionally, I think one of the things which is new which we have really embarked on, is we have been doing a lot of restructuring.
“Painting is being done . . . by staff members. We have had a tremendous amount of work being done by the National Conservation Commission (NCC) to help some of the areas which we need to improve. One of the major projects that we are trying to work on right now is to build a serenity garden so patients can relax on the outside under shade. As we know, it is a different mental experience being in isolation for a long period of time and we are trying to look after all of those aspects,” Dr Forde said. ([email protected])