With the number of recorded COVID-19 cases on the island upward of 700, president of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Verla De Peiza is pleading with Government to put Barbados “on pause”.
De Peiza said the time had come for the Mia Mottley-led administration to restrict international flights for one week to allow health authorities to adequately test the increased local COVID-19 cases.
“The Democratic Labour Party on behalf of the people of Barbados again calls for serious consideration of a national pause. We are moving towards that anyway when one considers the number of closed establishments, and the number of citizens again working from home.
“This is to ensure that Barbados is steadied in the present moment so we can once again soon announce to the world that it is COVID-19 free and open for business,” she said in a press release today.
The DLP leader revealed that an additional 51 persons had tested positive yesterday bringing the total number of reported cases in Barbados to 743. Additionally, she said over 35 businesses across the island had been impacted.
“While there is no official acknowledgment from the Government of Barbados of community spread of COVID-19, Barbadians in the last few days have witnessed its spread in our communities. As of January 6, 2021, we have recorded 743 cases of the virus on our shores.
“Citizens are continually witnessing spikes in cases, with more than 35 businesses being affected and closed; but still the acting Chief Medical Officer Kenneth George is insisting that figures are trending downwards. The facts are that as of January 5, Barbados recorded 692 cases; meaning we recorded an additional 51 cases as of yesterday. It is time to come clean and tell Barbadians the truth; the time of using pretty words to hide the facts is long gone,” De Peiza added.
She said questions regarding the presence of COVID-19 in the Barbados Prison Service, the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Barbados Ambulance Service and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital had initially been dismissed as rumours.
However, De Peiza said those claims had since been verified.
“Our frontline workers are overstretched and in need of physical and mental breaks. Affected persons and their families are worried, the country at large is nervous and not comforted by words alone. The time for smokescreens and long talk has long passed. This is the time for straight talk. Let the people know the answers to the questions that they are asking,” De Peiza contended.
She said Government needed to update the country on several issues including the strain of COVID-19 seen on the island, whether patient 0 had been identified, as well as if the administration was still trying to convince Barbadians that all active cases had come from a bus crawl described as a “super spreader event”.
De Peiza reiterated calls for mandatory scheduled tests for healthcare workers in private and public institutions to be instituted in addition to the implementation of drive-through testing centres, the use of technology for some consultations with regular patients and the need to supply patients who have NCDs, primarily diabetes and hypertension, with blood pressure and blood sugar monitors to be able to self-manage their levels with online supervision. (RB)
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