The nation’s doctors have called on Barbadians to be more responsible in helping to curb the spread of the coronavirus, pointing out that the latest restrictions announced by the Prime Minister have to be followed in order to work.
In a prepared voice message on Friday, Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) President Dr Lynda Williams said the association was not entirely surprised by the surge in the COVID-19 infection rates linked to the highly contagious Delta variant.
“Over the past 2 to 3 weeks we have witnessed a sustained rise of the more transmissible variants of COVID-19,” she said. “This is largely among the unvaccinated population within our community. BAMP is not entirely surprised by this as this was predicted by the University of the West Indies models. We are therefore calling upon Barbadians to play their part, come out and be vaccinated against COVID-19 and help us to reduce the amount of transmission within the society.
“The measures which have been announced by our Honourable Prime Minister which restrict movement and gathering will only be effective if they are followed by all members of society, along with all the non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing masks properly, hand sanitization and physical distancing.”
On Thursday evening, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced that effective Saturday, there will be restrictions in movement with a new curfew time of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Mondays to Saturdays, and 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sundays.
The new restrictions, to go into effect for two weeks initially, will also see an end to in-house dining at fast-food restaurants, contact sports and hiking.
Describing the tighter measures as a slowing down, Mottley said the situation was not at panic level but that new action was needed.
Dr Williams insisted that for these measures to work, people will need to take charge of how they go about their daily activities.
“Reduce unnecessary trips outside of the home, eat healthily, exercise, get good sleep, take your medication for your chronic diseases and monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar where it is possible to do so,” said the BAMP president.
“We are asking you Barbadians to spare a thought for health care workers who in these trying times must go out to help those who have COVID-19 and many other diseases. Help us to help you. Be responsible, do your part and be your brothers’ keeper.”
Among its recommendations at the end of July, BAMP had called for routine mandatory testing of unvaccinated essential workers either weekly or bi-weekly, according to their risk profile.
“We recommend that wherever hazard pay is being paid, the cost of doing surveillance testing be deducted from hazard pay,” the BAMP leader said then.
BAMP had also called for more targeted campaigns to be created to promote the vaccination of all essential workers, as well as ongoing forums to discuss the workers’ concerns.
The association had also proposed “urgent institution of regularly reported community surveillance for all variants, community surveillance programmes, including regular testing, for COVID-19 within vulnerable groups and communities”. (MM)