BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Barbados government says it will continue to accommodate all nationals overseas wishing to return home even as the island continues to experience an increase in coronavirus (COVID-q19) cases.
Over the weekend, the island recorded 12 new cases and Health Minister Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic said the six women and six men testing positive were all citizens or residents of Barbados who were returning home. All 12 are asymptomatic. Barbados now has 132 positive cases of the virus.
“The government has repeatedly made it clear that it shall accommodate all Barbadians abroad wanting to return home during this crisis, and therefore the increasing number of positive cases is to be considered in the context of our moral obligation to open our doors to citizens and residents of this country wanting to return home.
“The overwhelming majority of the now 132 positive COVID cases Barbados has recorded has been Barbadian citizens or residents,” Bostic said.
“Nevertheless, with the return of commercial flights to Barbados, these numbers are to be expected. Our public health protocols are proving their worth, as they allow us to detect and isolate people arriving into the country with the viral illness, before they leave the port of entry, in this instance, the Grantley Adams International Airport,” he added.
Bostic said that’s why the testing protocol that Barbados has in place is so vital to the island’s ability to respond to the public health threat posed by this global pandemic.
He said rapid diagnosis and isolation are the keys to the prevention of transmission.
“The Ministry of Health and Wellness has prioritized scaled up testing, isolation and contact tracing since we recognize that these are the measures which most effectively help us to keep the infection out of the general population.
“We continue to rely on the gold standard PCR COVID-19 test on entry as well as our recent decision to conduct a second test at the end of seven days quarantine for those persons arriving from countries deemed high risk,” he added.