Call for MASS COVID 19 Testing


Highly reliable test kits are available from Germany at a cost of Bd$346 per hundred tests. We immediately need to acquire 1 million tests for under 4 million dollars (that includes chartering a private jet to bring them here).

This is the most important way of dealing with the pandemic because without data about infection rates we are simply pissing into the wind with every other measure that we take.

We need mass testing now.

– Peter Lawrence Thompson

There has been a call by a BU commenter and philanthropist Peter Thompson for the Barbados government to initiate mass testing for the COVID-19 virus, NOW.


Discuss for 50 marks.


  • Reading between the lines after listening to the COVID Czar, AG Dale Marshall and Chief Medical Officer on today’s Brasstacks Sunday, former Chief Medical Officer George was sent on leave.


  • @ David March 29, 2020 11:39 AM

    Why do you think “K G” was sent on ‘forced’ leave?


  • @Miller

    One must assume the stars did not align.


  • Anthony Yarde has won all 19 of his professional bouts, including 18 by knockout
    British boxer Anthony Yarde says his father has died after contracting coronavirus.
    The 28-year-old light-heavyweight has urged people to stay at home, saying his father had been “fit with no health issues” before becoming ill.
    “I’m still in shock but maybe this can help people stay at home,” Yarde posted on social media.
    “The more people go out and mingle, the longer this isolation will last and the more it will spread.”
    The latest news on the coronavirus crisis
    How coronavirus has impacted sporting events around the world
    The total confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK on Sunday had reached 19,522, with 1,228 deaths.
    Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren, expressed his “sincere condolences to Yarde and his family”.
    “Coronavirus is an issue affecting all of us, but that doesn’t make the individual casualties any less tragic,” he said.
    “We hope that his fans listen to Anthony’s heartfelt plea for people to take the government’s advice seriously so we can try and minimise the suffering of others.”
    Yarde’s next fight was set to be against Britain’s Lyndon Arthur on 11 April, but the event has been delayed until 11 July because of the pandemic.(Quote)


    New Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts coming to The UWI, Cave Hill Campus

    Exactly whet we need at this time!


  • A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show ‘the ghastly reality of what’ medical workers deal with on frontlines

    Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    A nurse at a Manhattan hospital shared a chilling image of a makeshift morgue for coronavirus patients, in order to underscore how serious the pandemic really is.

    In a photo shared with Buzzfeed News, the nurse, who asked that neither he nor the hospital he works at be identified, said that he took the image of the adhoc morgue to show “the ghastly reality of what we deal with and where some of us have ended up already.”

    The photo shows a refrigerated truck filled with deceased COVID-19 victims.

    The nurse, who is Jewish, likened the photos of the truck to “Holocaust footage,” and said, he’d “never seen something quite like it.”


  • Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of Disaster

    A burst of fresh data on the prevalence of “silent,” or asymptomatic, carriers of the 2019 novel coronavirus points to the looming danger of ending America’s national shutdown early.

    Classified Chinese government data suggest “silent carriers” could make up at least one-third of the country’s positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post recently reported. Approximately 43,000 people in China who had tested positive for COVID-19 last month had no immediate symptoms. And those cases were not included in the official national tally of confirmed cases, which had hit 80,000 at the end of February, the paper said.

    Last week, China reported no new local infections for the first time since the outbreak started in December. And after weeks of lockdown, the city of Wuhan—where the global pandemic originated—said on Tuesday that public transportation was reopening and that residents would be allowed to leave the city itself starting on April 8.

    But as extensive testing continues, authorities in Wuhan have found new cases of asymptomatic—or mildly symptomatic—infection, sparking concerns about how many contagious people have been circulating freely. Fresh data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday about a nursing home in Washington state only served to compound those fears.


  • HOW COVID-19 KILLS–I’m a Surgeon–And Why We Can’t Save You


  • ER Doctor Sick With Coronavirus: ‘Nothing Right Now Is Sustainable’

    Dr. Sana Maheshwari, an emergency room doctor in New York City, is sick with COVID-19.

    She had been seeing patients with coronavirus-related symptoms since late February, but in the last two weeks, the number of cases coming into her hospital surged.

    Around the same time, Maheshwari’s hospital started running low on personal protective equipment (PPE), as did hospitals all around the country. So Maheshwari did what all American medical workers were asked to do last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    She began reusing her mask instead of throwing it away after each use like she was taught to do in medical school.

    “Honestly, it felt dirty. It felt gross,” Maheshwari told HuffPost. “At the end of the day, you’re taking off all the stuff that you were wearing for 12 hours, and you walk out of the hospital feeling really gross.”

    On Monday, Maheshwari, 31, woke up with a fever and tested positive for COVID-19. She’s been quarantined alone at home ever since.


  • The article below, though not dealing with COVID-19 some may find interesting. The test developed in the US.

    The blood test that checks for FIFTY types of cancer: Scientists can look for DNA which tumours release and use it to identify patients with cancer even when they have no symptoms
    The new blood test looks for DNA which tumours release into the blood
    It can even identify cancer in people who are not yet showing symptoms
    Researchers can identify the location of the cancer with 96% accuracy

    PUBLISHED: 23:59 BST, 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 23:59 BST, 30 March 2020


  • @ Quaker John

    May be she was a smoker, or had an underlying condition. She certainly was not a Barbados Scholar who went to Harrison College.


  • A Nurse Shared A Harrowing Photo Of COVID-19 Victims To Show How Horrifying The Outbreak Is

    “It is the ghastly reality of what we deal with and where some of us have ended up already,” the New York City nurse said.

    Posted on March 29, 2020, at 11:47 a.m. ET

    Shared with BuzzFeed News by a nurse

    Inside a truck at an ambulance bay outside a New York City hospital, March 29. The image taken by a nurse has been altered to blur the names of the deceased.

    The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.

    The 38-year-old registered nurse at a Manhattan hospital was nearing the end of his shift Sunday morning when he stepped toward the building’s ambulance bay.

    There, a giant refrigerator truck was sitting, ready to carry away those who had died from complications of COVID-19. He walked up to the truck, opened the latch, and snapped a picture.

    “I took it to show to people,” said the emergency room nurse. “It is the ghastly reality of what we deal with and where some of us have ended up already.” He asked that neither he nor his hospital be identified for fear of repercussions. BuzzFeed News altered the image to blur the names of the deceased.

    Earlier Saturday night, he had sat with a patient and held her hand as she took her last breath. Now, her body lay inside the truck.

    “I never had the patience to sit with somebody I’d just met until they took their last breath. But I really liked this lady’s cardigan and pajamas so I decided to stay and get to know her a little,” he said over text message. “Her hair was elegantly done with a sharp, meticulous clip and casually pulled up with a bandana that matched her house clothes. Perhaps if she’d covered her face with it instead, she wouldn’t have ended up here in the first place. But she didn’t die alone.”


  • @ Dullard (6.24)

    Do you think these people have brains? It is mind-boggling how they think. In the middle of a health crisis they announce the founding of a new department that is irrelevant at the best of times.
    Why do decent Barbadians tolerate this mediocrity?


  • So how is this plan supposed to work did somebody say borders without walls

    Lisa Moore
    A few weeks ago i saw what appeared to be a nurse or a doctor standing at the airport testing temperatures for brief secs only, while other passengers “gully boar” him to get pass. Then to add insult to injury the Jet Blue early morning flights apparently weren’t policed by the same medical staff. If individuals thought those practices was successful then we have an unlimited amount of jokers in this country. Many will say we shouldn’t blame the government but how many individuals up to date are still allowing strangers into their homes? Health is more important than wealth. 🤦‍♀️🙄😥


  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Dullard March 29, 2020 6:24 PM
    “New Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts coming to The UWI, Cave Hill Campus
    Exactly what we need at this time!”
    Did you notice what industry is being hit hardest by the current crisis? Yes, tourism… Hyatt Hotels (NYSE:H) dropped 20.1%. Know what industry is doing very well as everyone is in lockdown??? that’s right creative and performing arts delivered via the internet (NASDAQ: NFLX) up 27% since March 16th.

    You thought you were being ironic, but what you said is the straightforward truth. Our young people will have to make Barbados prosperous by exporting intellectual property… some of that will need to be science and technology, but arts and entertainment have a huge role to play.


  • @ PLT

    The creative arts have an important role to play in the development of national economies and the leisure sector, but it is not the same as establishing a lifelong career.
    Music tastes change, fashions change, sporting heroes come and go. What we need to give young people is education, training and confidence that underscores the flexibility needed for a fast-changing and developing technological world. We are now in a 5G world, by the time this technology reaches Barbados we will be on to 6G.
    Soca is not that popular outside the Caribbean, apart from the occasional dance in New York, Toronto or London. We have limited resources and we should focus them on subjects that hold the key to our futures: STEM.


  • peterlawrencethompson

    I don’t disagree about SOCA… I think that good arts training will allow and encourage students beyond such provincial boundaries. We need STEAM, not simply STEM. Netflix depends on engineers, scientists and cutting edge technology, but without the Arts it would simply be a toy in search of a mission. We cannot, with our limited resources, afford to ignore the arts.


  • Know what industry is doing very well as everyone is in lockdown??? that’s right creative and performing arts delivered via the internet (NASDAQ: NFLX) up 27% since March 16th

    In your rush to bless us with your profound wisdom you miss the simple point.
    Besides, Netflix is in the a technology and media business. They are doing very well. The average musician, entertainer, comedians is struggling. Theaters, cinemas, movie studios, art galleries are closed.

    No one is dismissing the arts but the issue is priorities. Why not provide the training so someone can create the next Netflix rather than the next documentary or film


  • @PLT
    Oh I almost forgot.

    You cherry pick Netflix but other companies are getting pummelled. Disney is down like 20% in the last month. The Nasdaq media index is down like 10% over teh same period.

    Context my friend. Context.


  • Abbott’s newly FDA-approved test touted by Trump that can diagnose coronavirus in just 5 MINUTES will ship its first batch of 50,000 kits tomorrow
    Abbott Laboratories’ new coronavirus test that can detect a positive result in just five minutes was approved by the FDA last week
    The medical device company, based in Illinois, expects to roll out its test beginning April 1
    Officials hope to manufacture at least 50,000 tests per day to use in hospitals, urgent care clinics and doctors’ offices
    President Trump presented the test to reporters during a press conference on Monday and called it ‘highly accurate’
    In the US, there are more than 164,000 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 3,000 deaths
    Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

    PUBLISHED: 16:08 BST, 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 20:14 BST, 31 March 2020

    Abbott Laboratories’ newly-approved five-minute coronavirus test will begin shipping tomorrow, on April 1.

    The medical device company, based in Illinois, received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration on two weeks ago under Emergency Use Authorization.

    Abbott said it is ramping up production to 50,000 nasal swab tests – known as ID NOW COVID-19 – per day.

    Officials at the company say the test can be used anywhere, including hospitals, urgent care clinics and even doctors’ offices.

    The US has more cases of the virus than other country, but healthcare workers are still struggling to keep up with the demand and test the thousands of people that are needed to contain the novel coronavirus.

    ‘A point of care test is a test that gives you a result where you’re getting care,’ FDA Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn said.

    ‘Just like tests for flu or strep, where you go to the doctors, you get the test done, you can get an answer within minutes having this test done.’

    It is the second test to be approved by the FDA that can be used directly in physicians’ offices and other community healthcare settings and promptly provide results to patients.

    Last week, the FDA approved a test made by Cepheid that can be used at the point of care.

    ‘The COVID-19 pandemic will be fought on multiple fronts, and a portable molecular test that offers results in minutes adds to the broad range of diagnostic solutions needed to combat this virus,’ said Robert Ford, president and chief operating officer at Abbott, in a statement.


  • A 13-year-old boy who tested positive for coronavirus has died, King’s College Hospital Trust in London said.
    A spokesman for the trust said the boy’s death had been referred to the coroner but gave no further details.
    It comes as the biggest daily increase in the number of people who have died with coronavirus in the UK – 381 – was reported.
    As of 17:00 BST on Monday, the number of UK deaths linked to the virus was 1,789.
    “Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time,” King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said.
    “The death has been referred to the Coroner and no further comment will be made.”(Quote)

    Condolences to his family. @ Quaker John, do you think he was a smoker, or a Barbados Scholar who went to Harrison College?


  • Notes From a Native Son: The China Panic Shows a Weakness in Liberal Capitalism (Written five years ago)

    By Hal Austin

    When all the people around you are going hysterical and prophets of doom are emerging from the woodwork, the best thing to do is not to panic.
    China has got the entire western world in turmoil, not because of the spectacular growth of its economy, nor even falsely assumed, but much-publicised collapse.
    What are getting people confused are three things: the volatility on the stock market, perceived threats to the wider economy and seeing China through a flawed prism.
    First, the stock market is not the economy, a simple truth but one that most people tend to mix up; it is not the real economy; and, most important of all, China is not a liberal democratic country with market capitalism, but a communist state controlled by the central committee.
    The other thing that is of upmost importance is that the Chinese play a long game, not stock market panics every morning by over-heated young men and women, but they think in decades, hundreds of years even.
    For nearly 800 of the last millennium the Chinese economy was one of the two top economies in the world. It was only with the rise of mercantilism that Western Europe removed the Chinese from the top of the economic tree. Ever since then that has been the Chinese mission. It has only been over the last 30 years that China has found itself in a poison to topple the great capitalist economies.
    Common sense tells us that the central committee would not let a few Foreign Direct investors to divest and crash their economy.
    There are two lessons to learn from this slight hiccup: first, the economic consensus that growth could only come from FDI is, to my mind, wrong.
    Foreign investors are carpetbaggers, they enter markets that look like they have potential growth; equally, as soon as there is volatility, they up sticks and leave.
    Second, sound growth is based on domestic demand and what we are witnessing is the background noise caused when the tectonic plates are shifting from an export-led economy to one based on domestic demand.
    China has a growing middle class of about 300m, while the US has a total population of about the same.
    China’s economic flaw, so far, is the failure to develop a sustainable capital market and a strong shadow banking system free of state control.
    This applies equally to other emerging markets, especially those that are over-dependent on foreign-owned banks with weak capital buffers.
    But China has a huge advantage. The Chinese middle class are looking for the things we in the west take for granted: while good such as fridges, televisions, microwave ovens, motor vehicles, etc.
    This is what stage two of the Chinese development model is based on. The recent devaluation of the yuan, shifting the economy back to exports, is just a temporary move.
    China has rightly decided that growth will come from widespread infrastructural developments, a good banking system, widespread use of new technology and providing its young people with sound, top quality education and skills training.

    The fundamental problem is that after pumping over US$1trn in to the global economy by central banks – the Fed, Bank of England, European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan – in real terms we have not moved very far away from where we were in 2009.
    The eurozone is still underperforming, the US is making a number of false starts, so is the UK, and abenomics if faltering.
    It us this uncertainty that has held interest rates at between 0 and 0.5 per cent in all major economies.
    The disappointment for most of these analysts is that China is no longer taking up the slack but, as has been stated, has turned on domestic demand for the next stage of its growth.
    This is precisely what Germany is doing to combat the problems it is having with Southern Europe and with the decline in sales of luxury goods in China – an export-driven economy that has shifted to a domestic demand-driven one.
    A small, semi-open, independent island economy needs close stewardship. One example: a Trinidad-owned firm is making huge amounts of credit available to households in Barbados without as much as a single word from the prime minister, minister of finance or governor of the central bank.
    This Trappist vow of silence would be laughable,, if the consequences were not so terrible for the nation.
    So, quite clearly, households will borrow money (it is an economic truth that poorer people spend their money while the wealthy invest), buying imports or products and services, in effect shifting debt from the private sector to the state and households. This is the business strategy of mass suicide.


  • Condolences to his family. @ Quaker John, do you think he was a smoker, or a Barbados Scholar who went to Harrison College?


    We will never know as there will be no further comment as you have pointed out.

    I work on facts.


  • peterlawrencethompson
    March 31, 2020 10:20 AM

    Know what industry is doing very well as everyone is in lockdown???


    Everybody is not in lock down!!!


  • peterlawrencethompson

    @Dullard March 31, 2020 3:07 PM
    I know that old media is dying… I wouldn’t touch Disney with a ten ft retirement plan. What I am saying is that Caribbean production companies can be writing, producing and filming series for Netflix to buy. Have you seen the South African series Queen Sono? It is first rate. We can sell our intellectual property to the world through Netflix and others.


  • peterlawrencethompson

    @robert lucas March 31, 2020 3:26 PM
    “Abbott’s newly FDA-approved test…”
    It would be huge if we could get an Abbott machine in Barbados this week.


  • @Peter

    The government voted monies today to purchase food and other items for contingency. Was it only food or is heath equipment medication included.


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