(BARBADOS TODAY) – Government has immediately ordered that all public gatherings such as sporting and cultural events be limited to crowds of 100.
Visits to the nation’s geriatric hospitals, home to those most at risk of severe illness and death from the acute respiratory syndrome, have been suspended immediately.
These were among measures announced by Health Minister Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic as he told the nation this morning that Barbados had recorded its first two cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19.
Bostic announced: “All public gatherings such as sporting and cultural events or any event that attracts crowds will be restricted to 100 persons.
“Visits by members of the public to all public and private geriatric institutions are suspended until further notice.
“Visits to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are restricted to protect elderly patients as well as those suffering from non-communicable diseases.”
The health minister advised Barbadians there was no need to panic as he detailed the full preparations in place.
Detailing the facilities being put in place to isolate patients and quarantine suspected carriers of the virus, he further announced: “The Isolation Centre at Enmore has been stood up with six isolation beds and quarantine facilities are in place at the Paragon Base in Christ Church and the Elayne Scantlebury Centre, River Bay, St. Lucy. Additionally, quarantine and isolation facilities will be available at Harrison’s Point within weeks.
“The Barbados Defence Force’s Field Medical Facility has also been set up to provide additional screening, quarantine and isolation services.”
Health Minister Bostic urged the country to be vigilant to prevent the spread of the viral illness.
He said: “Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water; alternatively, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Practise social distancing, that is, maintain at least one meter or three feet between yourself and anyone who is visibly ill and who is coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or do so into your bent elbow.”
“In addition, persons who have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, especially if they were in an affected region within the previous 14 days or was in contact with someone who was, call your healthcare provider, the nearest polyclinic or the ministry’s COVID-19 hotline [536-4500] for advice.”