WITH BARBADOS recording its 49th COVID-19 related death today, residents are being warned that if the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to spread rapidly, the island could possibly be looking at recording hundreds of cases per day.
Speaking at a press conference [on Saturday] evening, Senior Medical Officer Dr Ingrid Cumberbatch reported that authorities are seeing entire families and households being infected with COVID. She said that according to projections from the University of the West Indies (UWI), there could be a maximum of 500 cases per day.
Dr Cumberbatch said: “So, we haven’t seen that yet, but we know that that is a possibility. And from looking at other scenarios, when I say other, I am talking about in other jurisdictions, we know that that is not even the worst case, because that is a picture that was painted with a mixture of Alpha and Delta circulating in Barbados. So right now, given the projections from our UWI colleagues, I can say we are looking at 500 cases a day from right now, probably into next week, as a maximum”.
Dr Cumberbatch said that the 58-year-old unvaccinated woman who was in isolation for eight days passed away this morning and had no comorbidities.
The Senior Medical Officer said on August 25 there were COVID-19 cases among three families, the following day there were six families, and on August 27 there were 13 families.
“We know that the risk of the spread in families is real and given how we as Barbadians socialize and live, this is even more of a reality because we have our core families and then we have the extended families, many of whom have vulnerable persons such as the elderly, persons who have chronic diseases and those who can’t yet be vaccinated such as very young children because there is no vaccine available to them,” Dr Cumberbatch said.
She also indicated that statistics are showing that the majority of infected people are unvaccinated, and explained that 95 per cent of those who tested positive on August 25 were unvaccinated.
Eighty-five per cent of the persons who tested positive on August 26 were unvaccinated.
Dr Cumberbatch also noted that the authorities continue to be concerned about the increasing number of children getting infected with COVID.
She said: “So Barbados, if you are sick with the cold, sinus problems, flu-like or other symptoms including diarrhea and or vomiting, do not stay home sick and certainly, do not go to work or take your child to day care. Go to the doctor and go and get your COVID test, know your status and protect your loved ones.
“We can see for August 27 that the trend continues and it is increasing because you can see that the persons aged less than 18 years, 26 of them of the 92 represented 28 per cent. And those aged 18 years and over, 66 representing 72 per cent”.
The medical practitioner, who urged Barbadians to continue to follow COVID-19 protocols and get vaccinated, shared that contact tracing is continuously taking place. She also encouraged Barbadians to co-operate to the fullest extent with the contact tracing officers who are working to help the country fight the battle.
She said: “I have presented the evidence to you and again I would encourage you to reduce the risk of spread amongst your families and other vulnerable loved ones by adding that additional layer of getting vaccinated”. (Barbados Today)