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SPIKE IN COVID-19 CASES CONTINUE IN BARBADOS

Barbados is continuing to experience a spike in COVID-19 cases. However, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George, says the figures are trending downwards, and the 100 plus persons conducting the contact tracing exercise are making significant progress.

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While for the two days, January 1st and January 2nd, the country recorded a total of 211 new cases, inclusive of 121 staff and inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison. For the following two days, January 3rd and January 4th, a total of 86 positive results emerged from 3,062 tests.

This brings to 692, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases that has emerged from 75,889 tests conducted at the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory.

While investigations are still ongoing, the majority of new cases for January 3rd and 4th remain connected to the super spreader incident that embraces the West Coast of Barbados, Her Majesty’s Prison and the bus crawl of December 26th. Contact tracing from two other West Coast clusters has also produced additional positive tests, that are currently still under investigation and analysis.

Statistics from January 4th are still being analyzed, but Dr. George indicates that the number of visitors testing positive on their second test, for the first four days of this year, is on par with trends observed over the past six months.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer observed that Barbadians responded very positively to the call for voluntary testing by persons who may have been exposed to the super spreader events, and he indicated that effective tomorrow, Wednesday, January 6th unrequested testing would be discouraged, as testing centres grapple with the backlog that would have been created by the exponential rise in the number of persons being tested.

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Dr. George advises, however, that persons presenting with symptoms associated with COVID-19, should call the COVID-19 hotline at 536-4500, or report immediately to the nearest polyclinic, or the testing centre at the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory.

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