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One more death, one new case in Barbados

After six days with no change in the number of new cases or deaths from COVID-19, Barbados has recorded one of each.

Speaking on the CBC TV-8 news this evening, acting chief medical officer Dr Kenneth George said a 70-year-old non-national man passed away around 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Harrison Point facility in St Lucy.

George said the man, who had diabetes, had a “fairly difficult course” which ended with pneumonia.

He expressed his deepest condolences to the wife, family and friends of the deceased on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados.

Meanwhile, a 66-year-old Barbadian female tested positive and is currently in isolation.

George said after a lull of six days, this was a setback, but it also sent the message that we need to keep our guard up.

He said the public health officials would move to the stage of extreme contact tracing to identify all of those, in and out of the home, with whom the woman would have had contact. Once those people have been identified, they will be placed into two groups – those who are exhibiting symptoms and those who are not.

The acting chief medical officer said they will also be increasing the level of screening in the population and have broadened the definition of those who meet the criteria. They are appealing to all people, including those with no travel history, who have respiratory illness to report to the polyclinic or contact their physician for more information.

This has also been extended to the Geriatric Hospital.

George said it is only through widespread testing will they be able to know if there is in-country transmission.

“We hope to go from about 50 tests a day to scale up to as high as 500 to 600 tests a day, because only when we have widespread testing will be able to get a good handle on if there is in-country transmission,” he said.

Sixty-four more tests were conducted on Tuesday, including 33 for the Trinidad and Tobago nationals who left the island yesterday. George said all of their results were negative.

Of the 31 local tests, there were ten repeats, leading to two more people being discharged. Forty-three are still in isolation.

This brings the total number of positive cases to 76 – 39 females and 37 males with six deaths.

On April 20, Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic announced that his ministry would broaden testing for COVID-19. He also said that testing centres would be established across the island and would include all the polyclinics, as part of the Ministry’s strategy to ensure that community transmission is not taking place in Barbados.

The total number of tests conducted by the laboratory since February 11 now stands at 1 162

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