DeLisle Worrell Speaks to COVID-19

Reproduced with permission, the text of Dr. Delisle Worrell – former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados – April 2020 newsletter:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has counselled countries around the world to implement four measures to minimise the risk of an explosive increase in cases of Covid-19. The measures are extensive testing, of persons who are judged to be at risk, whether or not they have fever, respiratory ailments or other symptoms; tracking down everyone who might have had contact with those testing positive for Covid-19; quarantining all those who test positive for Covid-19; and social distancing. Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the WHO, was at pains to stress that all four of these policies must be implemented in order to contain the spread of the virus.

Dr Ghebreyesus has also advised countries to take advantage of the pause that curfews, lockdowns and the stoppage of air travel afforded them, to prepare for a possible surge in Covid-19 cases. Barbados now has an opportunity to acquire test kits, personal protective gear and medical supplies and equipment, to cope with such an eventuality. Also, the country should ramp up our capacity for testing, the availability of quarantine and the creation of additional treatment facilities for the very ill. All medical personnel in the country should be tested as soon as possible, for their own peace of mind, as well as in the national interest. All workers at the port and airport, and those involved in the recent transfer of cruise ship passengers should also be tested, as soon as practical. Anyone with fever or respiratory symptoms should continue to seek medical advice, so they can be referred by a physician for possible testing.

Read full text @caribbeansignal.comDeLisle Worrell: COVID-19: Saving Lives and Securing Livelihoods

43 thoughts on “DeLisle Worrell Speaks to COVID-19

  1. We must do much more. We need martial law. The military must make sure that no one leaves the house for the next two months. Not even Corona victims. They’ll spread the virus in the hospital and there’ll be more victims.

    When the plague is over and unemployment has risen to 30 per cent, the government should “convince” the surviving unemployed to build roads, do cleaning and work in tourism.

    Civil servants also have to make a sacrifice, because unlike the rest of the population they still earn money. I propose solidarity compensation in the form of a salary reduction of 30 percent over 5 years.

    In this difficult situation, the common good takes precedence over self-interest.

    The most important thing, however, is to break away from China completely. The government should cancel all existing contracts and stop making loan payments to China. We should offset the compensation for the bioweapons attack with Chinese credit claims.

  2. Past Govenor falling into the ” recovery of the tourist industry” trap. He’s also promoting Barbados issuing bonds, nice idea however buyers were BURNT BIG-TIME on this previously, once bitten twice shy. Give her not addressing that this COVID 19 situation is going to last MONTHS and not weeks. WORLD economy is going to be plunged into major recession with major(30 to 50%) job loss. Recovery will be decades if at all.

  3. Wily,

    Apparently, Worrell was once a student at Harrison College. He’s a typical dream dancer who lives far from reality.

    Tourism will be cut off until late summer for medical reasons. Next winter, tourism could also be cancelled completely, if the plague boils up again. Therefore we should not expect tourists before summer 2021. But even then there is no rescue in sight. The plague has either killed our tourists from the USA, Canada and the UK, the age group over 50, or driven them into poverty.

    We should therefore not expect any substantial income from tourism before 2030. Provided that the Chinese CP does not launch a new bioweapons attack on the West.

    We are virtually insolvent. No private bank will give us loans. If the government continues to force the Canadian private banks in Barbados to buy up lumpy bonds, it could be that these banks will simply wind up their business and not even sell.

    The situation is no better with institutional lenders. At some point, the credit line is completely exhausted. We are already unable to pay back the IMF loan.

    The population must finally understand that the fat years are over. We now need a culture of sacrifice, no more SUVs and no more shopping trips to Miami.

    But most of all, we need the devaluation of the Barrow dollar.

  4. The people advising government for the most part have done a reasonable job. Dr. Worrell from the short extract given above has nothing to offer. A perfunctory glance at the link, indicates the same talk about tourism. All of a sudden he talks about saving lives. Stick to economics.

  5. @ Tron April 2, 2020 5:19 PM

    Very insightful.. Especially :

    “The population must finally understand that the fat years are over. We now need a culture of sacrifice, no more SUVs and no more shopping trips to Miami.”

  6. The USA just launched the Paycheck Protection Program. The government will pump money into the accounts of small business to keep employees on the payroll for 8 weeks.

  7. @ robert lucas April 2, 2020 5:23 PM

    The health care of the population should be our first priority. We need medical supplies for future crises. The corona epidemic won’t be the last plague from China.

    The second priority should be to maintain the infrastructure.

    We do not really need luxury items such as vehicles longer than 4 metres and heavier than 1.25 tonnes.

  8. @Tron
    “We do not really need luxury items such as vehicles longer than 4 metres and heavier than 1.25 tonnes.”

    I have a Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati dealership for sale. It would fit your needs perfectly

  9. So grocery stores are to be shut
    Perishable foods will go bad or rot at the port there is gonna be a free for all till they lock down. There is going to be a lot of people hungry unless they find away to keep them open. In Ottawa the stores are open they have taken precautions to protect the cashiers. They open for senior citizens only at a specific time. People have to eat if not you will have food riots and looting

  10. @ David Bu at 5 :36 PM

    That policy decision must have been adopted from Barbados. Are you sure Tron did not leak that idea to the POTUS? We are doing something similar for 26 weeks. LoL !!

  11. @ kflinter at 6.42 PM

    It is reported that the supermarkets were consulted . I hope they have taken into consideration your concerns. I too am concerned about the less well-off members of our society.

  12. This measure is extreme. I trust reasonably minded Barbadians will object vociferously to this stricture. While containment is vital, the circumstances simply do not justify a 24-hour curfew. We need a level headed leader back in the chair !!

    • How do you know what is right? A whole generation that has only experienced the good life supported with easy credit. For once in our life we are being asked to make a sacrifice for the good of all and instead we bitch.

      We should be using the crisis to strategize for a better Rh tomorrow.


  13. As a former central banker, Dr Worrel response is tepid to say the least. I am disappointed.

    • @fortyacres

      Governor Worrell was the top central banker and government financial advisor for a decade. He should be seized with the workings of the Barbados economy.

  14. When the crisis is over, we will put the blame on the DLP, which has brought us all the agreements and debts with China.

    Mark my words!

  15. The US can print money in the trillions of dollars supremely confident that investors, including those from developing countries like Barbados, will buy up the heavily leveragedo debt. I am of the opinion that import substitution must be given more than lip service. It can be argued that we have been here before and that the country is so resilient that we will recover economically. However this perfect storm created by covid19 requires courage in diversifying the economy. Yes, tourism has been useful in providing some jobs and foreign exchange but the price is high. There are not enough linkages with local manufacturing and agriculture and this post promises more of the same. An economy designed to consume foreign creations and not to create wealth for the many. Covid19 is exacting a cruel price. We thank our medical and other health personnel and other Frontline first responders. We pray for recovery of health for the infected sick. We ask God’s mercy on the dead. Maybe, when we see health care systems in developed countries being overwhelmed, we will express our gratitude and not hanker for fixes by the same high priced consultants who designed the high priced systems which are now failing their own people, our would be tourists.

  16. @robert lucas and Tron April 2 “…no more SUVs and no more shopping trips to Miami.”

    But what about the rest of us who never took a recreational trip to Miami, and who have never owned any transportation except for our own 2 legs, a bicycle or the ever friendly ZR’s?

    No Meile taps or skiing trips to the Swiss Alps either.

  17. @PoorPeacefulandPolite April 2, 2020 7:13 PM “This measure is extreme. I trust reasonably minded Barbadians will object vociferously to this stricture. While containment is vital, the circumstances simply do not justify a 24-hour curfew.

    NIS pensions which were due on April 13 were paid on March 31, so that even those people who receive the minimum NIS pension of $920 per month have been able to go out to get groceries enough to last 2 weeks.

    Fifteen hundred of the most vulnerable families are promised [not sure if delivered yet] are being given $600 per month grants to buy food/essentials.

    Thw village shops [you all know what a village shop is} will remain open but can have only 3 customers at a time on the premises. This is to accommodate those whose income is so small that they buy small quantities of groceries every day.

    Farms remain open. I am not sure if this is for selling produce, or only for cultivating/planting/harvesting.

    Fish markets and abbatoirs remain open.

    People are commanded to remain indoors, but can go out for health care to purchase necessary food from a village shop

  18. @PoorPeacefulandPolite April 2, 2020 7:13 PM

    ” This measure is extreme.”
    It is not. The problem confronting the government is really quite simple. There seems to be a world-wide shortage of test kits. The government is in a bind where funds are concerned. In an ideal world each Barbadian ought to be tested. That is not going to happen. The second problem facing government are the unknown carriers( persons who did not know the first infected person and vice versa) but came into contact with them. By instituting the proposed methods ,if rigorously imposed, the unknown carriers are automatically restricted to known hot spots( the spots become known when medical assistance is called for by them). In this method one can contain the problem. Some people will die maybe myself, but draconian measures have to be used to contain the problem.

  19. @ Silly Woman April 2, 2020 8:53 PM

    My mum never left this island. Never owned a bicycle and always walked. You have gotten to easy living. Times are going to be tough, try and toughen up like when your were growing up.

  20. Though this is an unprecedented shock to the system, if history is any guide, this will be another ”nine day” wonder for the masses and the leaders as soon as this is over. Only if this pandemic is prolonged long enough to destroy a significant portion of our wealth and standard of living, then we will have no other choice but to push the reset button.

  21. In all practicality, basic food and shelter is sufficient enough in times like these. Anything more is not necessary. It is time like these that make us reflect on the unecessary wasteful consumption that the capitalistic economy has become. See how we are going to survive without the glitz and glamour in the days ahead.

  22. Those small business fed many a hungry belly
    Corona dent in big business might be a godsend in the making for the small business who can grab hold of an advantage which was totally missing from big business
    An advantage of person to person connection
    The small business person knew every customer by name and whatever each customer wanted so that there was never a need for over supply
    Make up revenue was by way of the side door where customers played dominoes and drunk rum
    Additional revenue was derived on saturday from puddin souse and bake bread
    I cant wait to buy the salt beef soaked in brine and the good ole fashion pig tail
    It is like getting back from where we started

  23. So what big business belly up would save govt lots of money
    Imagine a country not having to give concessions to the sows that ate easy and freely from the public trough
    And the poor many rebuilding the economy without asking govt for a big bite out of the treasury
    Just imagine

  24. I have a Doctor’s appointment next week. I was informed that I must do the blood work and the appointment will be done by telephone. They wanted virtual but I have never turned on my webcam.
    So there is not waiting, I was asked to make the lab appointment on line.
    Seniors have the first hour in the morning to shop, no young folks allowed in the stores until our time is up.

  25. There are very few village shops today that still sell salt beef and pig tails. No salt-fish or red herring to be had either. Village shops today survive on selling liquor, drinks, snacks and basic groceries; mainly to those that cannot afford to lose two hours pay, much less two weeks.

    Long ago, people moved into the heights and terraces and never looked back at the village. Now living in gated communities, parks and estates, the bougie crowd will find little of interest at the average village shop.

  26. @ FM Luder

    So right. In fact, many of the gated, Terrace and heights communities even dislike their parents for being so poor. I know one man who sent his son to Combermere, UWI and business school in New York. He got married and did not invite his parents, and told his father he deprived him of material things when he was a teenage. His father gave him a car at age 19.
    A parent trying to satisfy an ungrateful child is on to a loser. What we should do with them is to provide a home and support until age 21, when they finish university, after that put them out from home. Let them sink or swim under their own steam.

  27. In addition to measures to detect the virus and minimise the loss of life, efforts are underway to support the livelihoods of persons who have been laid off as a result of closures of hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Measures to speed up the payment of unemployment benefits are welcome. ……(quote)

    The Government should issue special Covid-19 bonds with a low interest rate and a sufficiently long grace period….(Quote)

    Our Government also needs to look towards the reawakening of tourist activity……(Quote, Dr Worrell)

    I am always disappointed with Dr Worrell, both as a public servant, for allowing himself to be humiliated by Sinckler, and his often orthodox economics, which quite often ignore the reality on the ground.
    Just look at the three points above: the payment of social benefits as a solution; the issuing of bonds, by a government whose first policy action was to default on its domestic and foreign debt; and then the call for a reawakening of the tourism sector.
    Is this the bet he has to offer?

  28. Governor Worrell was the top central banker and government financial advisor for a decade. He should be seized with the workings of the Barbados economy.(Quote)

    What does this mean.

  29. Governor Worrell was the top central banker and government financial advisor for a decade. He should be seized with the workings of the Barbados economy.(Quote)

    What does this mean.




  30. Is anyone out there interested in discussing the dominant economic theories that one can associate with Dr Worrell’s essay? Let us start with economic efficiency and the Coase theory of social cost?
    Or, in terms of the panic buying at supermarkets, the notion of social cooperation, its rationality or irrationality; or radical uncertainty; probability-driven projections, given the spread of coronavirus; the Nash Equilibrium and mutual selfishness; we can take all these theories and the reality of men and women ignoring the threat posed by coronavirus contagion in order to bulk shop.
    This is applied economics, which should be of concern to BU, rather than the political rum shop shouting and puking.

  31. Worrell is a disappoint…showing how taxpayer funded education was wasted on those marinated and LOCKED INTO
    colonial minds with the dependency syndrome. The only thing they can ever think or talk about is tourism. No thinking outside the box, no genuis abilities, proof that they were SOCIALLY ENGINEERED FOR DECADES…
    TO FAIL …and failed they have…the same old….now we see what the same old is causing on the African continent because of too many weak, colonial minded African leaders who were socially engineered to FAIL also…and fail they have. Now a few leaders are emerging with grit, intelligence, determination and strength…but not Enuff.

  32. A leading report…????? This is a so-called report by a lunatic rightwing organisation, reported on in the equally rightwing Express.

  33. “BORIS JOHNSON should pursue China for a coronavirus compensation package worth £351billion,”

    Then China will have to compensate every country who got infected, remember they keep saying they were victims too, so everyone is passing blame, while cousin Boris tries his best to breathe, that is the least of his problems right now..

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