The state of public health emergency which was enacted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended another five months by lawmakers.
With just three days before the current state of emergency is due to expire, Lt Col Bostic told the House of Assembly that with a growing number of infections daily, in addition to the higher number of deaths being caused by the virus, the extension to the emergency powers was greatly needed.
The resolution now extends the emergency until March 23, 2022.
He said: “We all know that our transmission rates are continuing to climb, and we know that the numbers are increasing as well, and so what we have done is to shift our strategy to deal with this present situation, and our focus at the moment is really to try to protect and save lives. That is the focus.”
The expansion of isolation facilities, including the home isolation options made available to Barbadians in order to help the healthcare system deal with the largest-ever surge of cases, has proven to be a smart move by Government, according to the health minister.
Having already mobilized resources to help with these new daily situations, he added, medical professionals have been better able to deal with select outbreaks, in particular, within nursing home locations.
Said Lt Col Bostic: “Within recent times, we have had to create isolation centres within senior citizens or nursing homes because of outbreaks at some of those facilities
“Dr. Corey Forde and his team deem it prudent for us to be able to isolate in place especially when dealing with elderly persons, and I am happy to report that even within recent times we have had two situations that we have been dealing with, and the prudent management of the team, by isolating those persons in place, and the fact that the vast majority of the clients were fully vaccinated, we are comfortable at this point in time, that we don’t have significant issues within those two particular facilities.”
Lt Col Bostic stressed that the Government was fully committed to the task at hand and determined to stem the tide of COVID-19 cases currently sweeping over the island.
He said: “As we continue to manage the pandemic, as challenging as it is, and it will continue to be, we strongly believe that within the framework of the general management of the pandemic which includes the emergency powers that we utilize at this point in time, and that with all the experience that we have gathered over the last 20 months or so in dealing with this issue, that no matter how significant the challenge, no matter how daunting it may seem, no matter how tired we may become, and weary, we may be down from time to time, but we will never be out.” (SB)