Mottley Announces Extension To National Lockdown

(CMC) – Barbadians will now remain on lockdown until the end of the month, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced Monday, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb.

On the same day that it was announced the island had recorded the first death of a healthcare worker due to the virus, Mottley said that the period of “national pause” which was to end on February 17, would continue until February 28.

The 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew will remain in place.

Mottley’s announcement came after Minister of Health Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic disclosed in a statement that a Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) nursing assistant had died on Sunday as a result of COVID-19. She passed away at the Harrison Point Isolation Facility, where she had been a patient for nine days.

“As the first health care worker to die from COVID-19 in Barbados, her death shook the nursing and health care communities yesterday,” Bostic said on Monday.

“Prior to yesterday, Barbados had so far been spared the loss of any of its health care workers and the cases of COVID among the QEH staff have largely been the result of community spread and not direct patient to caregiver contact.

“If this young woman’s life is not to be in vain, her death must share two lessons with the rest of this country. Those lessons are that COVID is no respecter of age of persons and all of us must take it seriously; and that we in this country owe a responsibility to each other, to our communities, to our families to be more thoughtful, caring and protective of each other and to follow the health and safety protocols, or we will be placing not only ourselves, but someone else in harm’s way,” he added.

The nursing assistant’s death brings to 25 the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the first case in Barbados in March 2020.

Up to Saturday, Barbados had recorded 2,268 confirmed cases.

However, test results have been slow recently because of the inability to obtain a critical reagent for testing. That required lab technicians to use manual extraction which made the process longer and created a new backlog.

A supply of the critical reagent is now in Barbados and the laboratory is in the process of clearing the backlog.