(BARBADOS TODAY) – A minimum of over 100 Bajans could die from COVID-19, said Czar Richard Carter tonight, quoting a best-case scenario model developed by University of the West Indies epidemiologists.
The coronavirus has already claimed five lives and health officials have recorded 75 confirmed cases so far. Carter explained that the projected figure of over 100 did not take into account a number of “exceptions” which could see the number of cases exploding.
He said: “Some of the models are telling us that even if we do everything that we are being asked to do in terms of our physical distancing.
“We have had some epidemiologists from the University of the West Indies – and thank God for them – providing us with some advice, and some guidance and some modelling. They are saying even in a best case of people following directions and so on we could end up with over 100 deaths.
“This virus thrives on exceptions so that one person saying, ‘well, let me just go out and exercise outside’ or ‘let me nip down to the supermarket outside of my time’ or the elderly person who leaves home or the person who goes into an elderly care home where we have seen explosions of cases and that virus gets loose in an elderly care home. Those exceptions are what could actually break us in terms of the numbers.”
The Czar said based on the number of deaths already recorded, the mortality rate was already too high and if the virus was not contained deaths could reach thousands.
Carter said: “We have had five deaths out of the 72 or 73 cases that represent a mortality rate of 6.8 per cent. If everybody in Barbados got COVID a mortality rate of 6.8 per cent would cause 20,000 deaths. Now the mortality rate for COVID worldwide is basically around one per cent. Even at one per cent if everybody in Barbados got COVID that would be 3,000 deaths. Now I ask the public of Barbados are we prepared to accept 3,000 deaths as a result of COVID-19?”
As of today, there have been 3,313 COVID deaths in the Caribbean and Latin America.