BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - HEALTH officials in Barbados are working towards deep contact tracing to minimise the outbreak of the Coronavirus following the staging of what is now being described as a “super spreader event”.
The event, a Bus Crawl, was held over the holiday period and is now being blamed for the cluster of 161 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 pandemic on the island, while additional cases popped up at the major prison facility.
Additionally, there were cases popping up at the International Airport of persons travelling to the island from the United Kingdom.
“...respect to the bus crawl, we are doing specific contact tracing with all issues related to the bus crawl. As you know, bus crawls make several stops and we are going to go to those bars and make sure the persons who are primary contacts are tested first,” the Territory’s Chief Medical Officer explained.
Long lines of people have been noticed at several testing facilities around the island, in concern that they may have been exposed to someone who attended the Bus Crawl which had made stops at several bars on the island.
Many people who drove around the island had found a the doors to a number business entities unopened with notices stating that they are closed because an employee has tested positive and a deep cleaning would be undertaken.
Public servants and some private sector companies, including banks, have asked their employees to work from home until further notice.
The latest cases have forced neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines to place travellers from the island in the “High-Risk” category.
In a letter to Barbados Prime Mia Mottley, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne said he is deeply troubled by the developments that caused a sudden surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.
He expressed confidence that “with the support of the Barbadian people, the situation will be brought under control and new measures introduced to stop a recurrence”.
“Apart from expressing my solidarity with you, the purpose of this letter is to advise that, while our border authorities will continue rigid adherence to our protocols for entry into Antigua and Barbuda, we will not be prohibiting travel from and to Barbados.
“Further, I want to assure you of my Government’s readiness to be of any help that we are capable of giving to the Government and people of Barbados at this difficult time. Barbados is not alone,” Browne added.
The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus stands at 500, and officials are concerned that the numbers would increase once all the samples are tested.