Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, said after days of reduced COVID-19 numbers from daily tests, an unfortunate new cluster has emerged from the heart of The City.
“On Thursday we had one case, and this case yielded another 10 positives the following day as a result of the contact tracing. Once we had those figures and the information related to positive cases, it was quite clear to the staff of the Ministry of Health and Wellness that this was a potential problem,” Bostic said during Sunday’s COVID 19 update.
“These cases involve and include persons who would have done some bar-hopping at some bars within The City of Bridgetown and the general St Michael area, and because of the nature of those visits at those bars, we knew we had to move very fast to be able to contain a spread,” he said.
Bostic said contact tracing efforts were currently ongoing to reach all primary and secondary contacts of persons who would have frequented the bars in question over the last few weeks, in particular bars within the Nelson Street, Wellington Street, and Suttle Street areas, as well as on the Spring Garden Highway.
Though the Health Minister once again pleaded with Barbadians to take the vaccine, he stressed that the vaccine alone cannot control COVID numbers.
“I know that in recent times, the conversation has been centred on vaccines, and then we have the anti-vaxxers and so on, and that really has been taking up a lot of the space on social media and conventional media. While that discussion is important, I would always encourage persons to be fully vaccinated. What I have constantly indicated during press conferences from over a year ago when we did not have a lot of vaccines, I would have said to this country that there are levels of defence that we have established to be able to keep Barbados and Barbadians safe.
“Those levels of defences really include the entry protocols, the quarantining and the various other things that we do, and the final level would be vaccines and becoming vaccinated. But the truth is, at the end of the day, whether or not we have persons coming in, whether or not we have persons fully vaccinated, the protocols and public health measures remain very important,” he added.
Bostic implored Barbadians to keep following of COVID-19 guidelines and to reduce in-person contact as much as possible, in order to avoid COVID numbers rising sharply once again as it did earlier in the year.
Persons showing symptoms of the virus, or knowing they visited bars in the city within the last two weeks, are being encouraged to go to the Wildey Gymnasium Testing site, the Eunice Gibson and Branford Taitt Polyclinics from 8 a.m to 12 noon, in order to get tested. (SB)