The following comment inspired the blogmaster to expand the focus on data collection and discussion about the COVID 19 pandemic. Thanks to @Lyall@Amit


David; re. your 4:41 am post;

You are correct but I have indeed considered that cohort of the population.

The reason that the US experts are beating the drum for testing, testing and more testing is to get a handle on what proportion of the general public has been compromised by the virus in any way and has left its signatures in body fluids including blood in the population. The virus is shed from the infected body as the disease is brought under control. When it is controlled it has been found that it takes around 7 days for all particles to be shed from the body. Infected persons are released back into the community when they test negative twice over a period of 2 days.

Barbados, like all of our island neighbours, did or does not have access to large numbers of tests and had to use what we had very sparingly. Thus, the only measure that we had for gauging the incidence of the virus in the population (and a very imperfect one, at that) might be by comparing the evidence of infection levels hinted at by a comparison of the graphs of the progress of the various Covid-19 outbreaks in our Islands.

Most of the world was in the same position as the Caribbean and used the data obtained by the minimal testing of infected people and their contacts and their contacts to produce the graphs we see on such sites as WHO and Worldometer etc. All these graphs give an imperfect picture and significant underestimation of infection levels in the county or country in which the tests are carried out, but, since they are carried out in the same way in each country they might provide some rationale for guesstimating the comparative levels of the infection in various groups of countries.

The data shows that, starting out at essentially the same levels, there was some divergence in relation to the rate of infection and therefore progress of the various outbreaks in various countries. The graphs for Barbados showed low and declining levels of infection from the beginning, peaking at the level of 13 positive cases per day and thereafter showing a slowly declining trend. The individuals who would have contributed to the declining trend would have been primarily from the contact testing but should also have included other individuals referred by Health professionals or who presented themselves to Government institutions because of concern that their symptoms might point to untimely death due to the dread Covid-19.

Amit, in an earlier post on this blog, reported on his initiative of graphing Covid-19 incidence over weekly periods throughout the epidemic, in several Caribbean Islands. If David thinks it is appropriate and Amit agrees I can post a subset of graphs clipped from his data for 6 Caribbean territories which I think could illustrate some of what I have presented above.

Covid 19

There was 1 more positive case announced today as well as 1 death. A slight uptick of the daily cases line is indicated in the graph by the blue line. The total cumulative number of positive cases from the tests carried out yesterday is 76 – Llyall Small


Attached is the updated C-19 graph for 2020-04-23. There were no additional positive cases from yesterday’s tests and therefore cumulative positive cases remain at 76 – Lyall Small



Two new positive cases were identified from yesterday’s tests. There are now 5 cases of contacts with a previously identified individual. The 5 cases are workers from a Government Institution. Tests are ongoing today (25 April 2020)Lyall Small


Updated graph for 26 April 2020. No new +ve cases were found. Cumulative count is still 79 – Lyall Small


There was one additional +ve case identified today (27 April 2020) from the last tranche of NAB workers moving the cumulative total cases to 80. The graph is still essentially trending downwards – Lyallsmall

Covid-Cumulative 1

Graphing Covid-19 incidence in several Caribbean Islands – Source data:

3,450 thoughts on “COVID 19 UPDATES

  1. Five people, most of them elderly, died as a result of COVID-19 between August 13 and 15.
    Their deaths have brought the number of casualties from the viral illness to 525.

  2. Cricket fans attending the three-match One-day International series between West Indies and New Zealand at Kensington Oval will not have to be vaccinated to see the action.

  3. Attached are the charts updated to 26th August. The charts all appear to be suggestive of a slow progress to a new normality where the incidence of the disease now seems to be at the stage of recovery from the onslaught of the current Omicron variant spike. Source: Lyall Small

  4. A bit too soon!


    A LEADING MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL disagrees with Government’s decision to remove its social distancing requirement from the COVID-19 Directives, particularly with Barbados’ positivity rate still high.
    President of the Barbados Dental Association, Dr Vidya Armogan, told the
    DAILY NATION yesterday that though he understood public health officials’ decision to no longer require Barbadians, with effect from tomorrow, to be at least three feet from one another was a trend also seen internationally, Barbados’ situation was unique with the high number of elderly people at risk and those dealing with co-morbidities.
    The outspoken dentist said Government could have waited another month or two for the fifth wave of the viral illness to dissipate before changing the directives.
    The new measures were announced by Chief Medical Officer The Most Honourable Dr Kenneth George last Friday.
    Very high rate
    “Right now in Barbados our rate of transmission of COVID-19 is still very high, and while I respect the Government’s view to relax the social distancing protocol right now, which
    is also what the world is doing, I don’t think with our positivity rate, and the events we would have had socially recently, that it should happen,” Armogan said.
    “We need to be cognisant of the fact that in a society like ours, where we do take care of our sick people in a public health care system, that long COVID will be an issue.”
    The Dental Association president said such a commitment over the next few months will present a serious issue of cost to the Ministry of Health.
    “There will be a high cost down the road. I can’t blame Government for moving in that direction at this point because the world is moving in that direction, but we need to be a little more cognisant of our particular situation.
    “Right now it’s not a good idea. Maybe a month from now it would have been a good idea. However, I believe each Barbadian needs to assess their risk, especially if they have co-morbidities. They need to protect themselves, wear masks,distance themselves from others, don’t go out to functions and don’t be close to people without a mask. Long COVID is a thing, and we the public will have to pay that price years from now,” Armogan asserted.
    Last week, George had highlighted the effect COVID-19 was having on ageing Barbadians, revealing that the latest data showed 85 per cent of deaths associated with COVID-19 in Barbados were those of people 70 years or older.
    “It’s happening too often, and I’m very concerned about it,” he said about the high number in the last three months.
    “I’m a little concerned about the deaths that continue with our older folk . . . . So while we relax [protocols] on one hand, I’m again appealing
    to the public particularly when you have older persons in a household, you pay specific attention to them. Frequently these older people have comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, and once COVID-19 and diabetes, hypertension or kidney disease mix, the outcomes are frequently not good,” he added.
    Armogan noted the virus continues to take a toll on Barbadians.
    “We are having a lot of cancellations daily because of people coming down with COVID-19. We have about 15 to 20 per cent of all our appointments cancelled every day, and 100 per cent of those are because of COVID-19.”
    He said there had been no transmission of the viral illness at his dental facility since they introduced special protocols in the midst of the pandemic, and the status quo would remain.
    “We will stick to our
    protocols. They’ve worked extremely well for us, and we’ve had zero transmissions of COVID-19 and minimise the amount of people in the waiting room.”

    Source: Nation

  5. Shoppers urged to keep wearing masks
    SOME SUPERMARKETS HAVE welcomed the removal of the three-foot spacing rule, but are urging shoppers to keep wearing their masks and sanitising their hands.
    At Roxy Supermarket in Eagle Hall, St Michael, supervisor Stevenson Scantlebury said they will still keep their sanitation machine at the front of the store.
    “We will discontinue the distancing for now, but you can come in, wear your mask, and because COVID is still around, hand sanitising will still be done because we think it is one of the things that will keep us as safe as possible,” he told the DAILY NATION.
    Managing director of A1 Supermarkets Andrew Bynoe said while the three-foot rule “is not necessary according to the protocols, for the time being we will still ask people to wear their masks inside the stores”.
    Last Friday, Chief Medical Officer The Most Honourable Dr Kenneth George, in announcing the scrapping of the social distancing protocol with effect from tomorrow, said that as health officials now knew more about the respiratory illness, fear and restrictions were not ways to combat it. However, he stressed that mask-wearing and vaccinations were the interventions they were still advocating.
    Minister of Health and Wellness Ian Gooding-Edghill also on Friday encouraged Barbadians to “maintain their social responsibility and to ensure that their personal behaviour reflects what we are doing”.
    Despite the change of the rule, shoppers like Michelle Jones and Jennifer Marshall said they will still be sticking to the old rule.
    “I’m still wearing my mask and keeping my distance regardless of if they change the rules or not,” Jones said at Channell Supermarket in Collymore Rock, St Michael.
    Marshall, who was at the same location, added: “I have not gotten COVID so far and I want to keep it that way, so in these places I will be wearing my mask right and not getting too close to people.”
    Managing director at Channell Tony Catlyn said while they could be lenient on the mask-wearing, they will still ask staff to sanitise frequently-used items and spaces.
    “You don’t find like years ago when people jumbled up under one another. They stand about four feet now. At the moment people maintain their distance; it may not be three or six feet, but they have been doing so naturally, “However, when it comes to sanitisation, we still are sanitising the trolleys because several different people use them
    daily,” he added.

    Source: Nation

    • Barriteau: Focus more on social fallout from pandemic

      A FORMER UNIVERSITY PRINCIPAL says Barbados is emerging from the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic but is yet to focus sufficient attention on the disruptive social dimensions of the lockdowns on young people and their parents, especially single mothers and out-ofwork fathers.
      Professor Emerita The Most Honourable Eudine Barriteau made the point while delivering the 5th Annual Ermie Bourne Memorial Lecture on Sunday evening. The online presentation was titled
      The Values Of The Village? Preventing Social And Economic Alienation In Contemporary Barbados “I maintain that the country is experiencing greater social dislocations, post-COVID-19 lockdowns, which have been exacerbated by developments during the pandemic. Analyses have focused narrowly on the absence of morals, the erosion of ‘the values of the village’ and insufficiently on a comprehensive overview of the economic and social trauma visited upon the country by this pandemic,” reasoned Barriteau.
      The retired principal and pro-vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill said the “most vulnerable always find it more difficult to cope” and acknowledged that “people who break the law have to face the consequences. However, long-term solutions lie in preventative rather than punitive measures”.
      She also noted that in longing for the values of the village, commentators ignored “the social and economic effects on young people of the two and a half years of the COVID-19 pandemic. I assume the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training is actively tracing all the third to fifth formers who were enrolled in the nation’s 23 secondary schools in March 2020 to determine how many disappeared from the educational system”.
      Barriteau commended the Government for reintroducing the five-week summer day camps and initiating a Summer Nutrition Programme, “even though there should have been greater consultations”.
      “The values of the village
      must be supported by Government investing in providing the social services and programmes necessary for a rapidly evolving 21st century society. Why do I say the Government and not civil society? Only the Government can influence and introduce the policies under which public goods such an education and social goods such as cohesion and stability can flourish.”
      She also said the strengthening of PAREDOS and placing social workers in primary and secondary schools were investments in Barbados.
      “The prevalence of young men shooting and killing each other are symptoms of economic hardships and deprivation, failed families, overburdened mothers, absent fathers, declining community and extra-curricular programmes in schools . . . . It is our collective responsibility and our collective failure. Government has an overarching responsibility to protect the public good.” (JS)

      Source: Nation

  6. Are we back to normal?
    Government recently announced the removal of the three-foot social distancing requirement. This may explain why I was hugged so many times last week (not always willingly).
    I will admit that the three-foot rule was my favourite; not because of COVID-19 but because it ensured my personal space was less likely to be invaded. Long before COVID-19, one of my pet peeves was standing in a line where someone behind me had little or no concept of personal space and stood so close that I could feel their breath on my neck.
    I prefer to leave that level of closeness to a welcome suitor rather than a stranger who is simply anxious to reach the front of the line. The social distancing rule removed my need to give the side eye, long stare or occasional correction to someone who stood too close.
    With the relaxation of almost every COVID-19 protocol, it appears that we are almost “back to normal”. All industries have resumed operations with no vaccine or testing mandates, tourism is on the rebound, many employees have returned to the office and the increasing number of job advertisements in the classifieds suggest that employment is on the rise and companies are experiencing some level of growth. These are all good things. Given the milder symptoms that generally accompany the Omicron strain, most persons have resigned to living with COVID-19 and the fear of infection seems to have somewhat subsided and so has the stigma.
    Not all happy with protocols
    However, not everyone is happy with the relaxation of the protocols.
    President of the Barbados Dental Association, Dr Vidya Armogan, was reported in last Wednesday’s Nation as disagreeing with the removal of the social distancing rule at this time.
    According to the article, Dr Armogan said, “Government could have waited another month or two for the fifth wave of the viral illness to dissipate before changing the directives”.
    Fortunately, Dr Armogan can continue enforcing the three-foot rule in his own practice to promote “a safe zone”.
    I do, however, agree somewhat with the doctor’s position. On the one hand, the public appears to have long abandoned the three-foot social distancing rule. I have been to meetings and functions where the seats were not positioned three-feet apart. And dare we speak of the Crop Over parties, Foreday Morning and Grand Kadooment, where social distancing was practically nonexistent? It is impossible to “wine pon a bumper” from three feet (or any distance) away. So while this rule remained on the books, it has been rarely adhered to or enforced within the last few months.
    However, almost every day over the last few months COVID-19 deaths have been reported among the elderly.
    This is a cause for concern and a reminder that we still have a duty to protect the more vulnerable among us.
    For this reason, I agree it may have been better to await the passing of this particular wave before relaxing the rule. Nevertheless, I suspect there may never be a good time to relax the rules.
    So are we truly back to normal, save for the
    requirement to wear masks indoors?
    During an interview last week regarding the mental health impacts of the pandemic, Professor Dwayne Devonish stated that “although there is waning of the heightened health and economic effects of the pandemic, there are still some lingering complications associated with the pandemic . . . . Not everyone has regained employment and many of the state-run and private crisis interventions that were available during the pandemic have been scaled back …so there is a segment of the population who have been left unsupported and who are suffering in silence”.
    While it is tempting to believe that we are back to normal and that everyone is fine, the words of Professor Devonish are a good reminder that many of the pandemic’s negative effects still linger and we have some distance to go.
    Michelle M. Russell is an Attorney at Law with a passion for employment law and labour matters, as well as being a social activist.

    Source: Nation

  7. Attached are updated Covid-19 incidence charts to 11th September 2022. There now seems to be a consistent reducing trend in the incidence of the disease as seen in the charts above. Deaths, Raw incidence, and Positivity and Ro numbers have now decreased to the lowest levels seen this year. Even so caution should not be thrown to the winds. The populace should continue to follow the Government’s published protocols and protect the most vulnerable ones.


  8. Concern over fall in vaccinations
    By Colville Mounsey

    President of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), Dr Lynda Williams, is calling on the Ministry of Health and Wellness to “urgently” launch research into why there has been a decline in the number of children receiving their normal course of paediatric vaccines.
    Williams said that with the 2021 statistics showing a significant reduction in the island’s coverage in DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) as well as MMR (mumps, measles and rubella), answers must be sought as to whether the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy had translated into a loss of faith in infant immunisation.
    According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, in 2018 Barbados had a 94 per cent DTP vaccine coverage, which fell to 83 per cent in 2021. Also in 2018, 85 per cent of children under one year old were vaccinated against measles, compared to 76 per cent in 2021.
    However, Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr Sonia Browne chalked up these declining numbers to resources being diverted to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. She expressed confidence that the numbers would go back to normal levels now that the pandemic had settled.
    “During the COVID pandemic, a lot of the medical staff, including the nurses, were diverted to administer COVID vaccines to the patients that needed. Now that the pandemic has settled and we have some control over the numbers, the clinics are working to get the numbers back up for the regular everyday childhood vaccines.
    “I cannot emphatically say that there is a hesitancy with respect to these childhood vaccines. I can say that there is a hesitancy with respect to the childhood vaccine for COVID,” said Browne.
    The minister added: “Over time, parents have been accustomed to the fact that you needed the usual vaccines to get into schools. You always have a small sub-group who for religious reasons claim that they can’t have the vaccine. So I am aware that there was a delay and especially when the children were at home they didn’t need to have it, but now that school is starting in full they are going to need those vaccines and there will be a catch-up process.”
    Earlier this week, head of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA),
    Dr Joy St John, said the region was seeing the emergence of vaccine hesitancy in non-COVID vaccines.
    “Normally, the Caribbean is known for its very high vaccine coverage among children and the vaccine hesitancy has done what I feared; it has started to affect vaccination against things like polio. We have become victims of our success,” she lamented then.
    Williams said that based on what she has been hearing on the ground, what was once thought to be an unshakeable faith in childhood vaccines now appears to be wavering. She warned that should this trend continue, Barbados could be courting danger, adding that the idea of an eradicated disease resurfacing was not as far-fetched a notion as some would like to believe.
    “Some of the decline may have been because of COVID and some of it may have been because of a loss of faith in vaccinations and this is something that we are seeing worldwide. I can tell you that some parents have expressed this sentiment to me, but I cannot use this as a study. We now have to do a study to see if Barbados, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, is now not vaccinating because that would be a very serious thing,” said Williams.
    “The most immediate danger would be polio. In fact, all of the vaccine-preventable illnesses can potentially come back. Once you don’t have the vaccine coverage, you are running the risk of very terrible things coming back,” she said.
    “A few years ago there was an outbreak of measles in the United States and the United Kingdom and although people were travelling here we did not have to worry because for measles our coverage was around 98 per cent. We also have high coverage for polio, but if we have a generation now refusing to do the DTP and polio vaccine, we are definitely going to have a problem.”

    Source: Nation

  9. Dr. Aseem Malhotra promoted Covid-19 vaccine on TV, now says stop and calls for its immediate suspension.

    The (peer reviewed) Journal of Insulin Resistance has published In a two-part research paper entitled “Curing the pandemic of misinformation on COVID-19 mRNA vaccines through real evidence-based medicine,”

    This was written by one of UK’s most eminent Cardiologists Dr. Aseem Malhotra, who was one of the first to take two doses of the vaccine and promote it on @Good Morning Britain. Dr. Malhotra now says that since the rollout of the vaccine the evidence of its effectiveness and true rates of adverse events have changed and now “there is a strong scientific, ethical, and moral case to be made that COVID-19 vaccines rollout must stop immediately until raw data has been released for fully independent scrutiny.”

    Furthermore, real-world data reveals that in the non-elderly population, the number needed to vaccinate to prevent one death from Covid-19 runs into thousands and that re-analysis of randomized controlled trial data from the initial vaccine clinical trials suggests a greater risk of suffering a serious adverse event from the vaccine than to be hospitalized with Covid-19.

    Summary overviews of the two-part research paper, together with a transcript of the above video in which he introduces his findings can be found at:
    (4 min video statement by Dr. Malhotra included at link above)

  10. The Ministry of Health and Wellness, will from Friday, September 30, discontinue the daily publication of the COVID-19 statistics dashboard and update.

    It will instead be replaced by a twice-monthly publication of the COVID-19 statistics.

    The Ministry encourages members of the public to continue to exercise personal responsibility to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 in light of the further relaxation of the protocols.

  11. @Green Monkey “This was written by one of UK’s most eminent Cardiologists Dr. Aseem Malhotra”

    Is a cardiologist the best person to comment on vaccines?

  12. Puerto Rico suffered catastrophic flooding on Sep 19

    If Biden is right and COVID is over, then we should not see any rises in COVID cases after 3 weeks or so,

    Well, 11 days have passed, roughly a week and a half and here’s what COVID looks like in Puerto Rico.

    At the moment it does not look good.

  13. Pingback: Government Discontinues Covid 19 Dashboard | Barbados Underground

  14. Boss, we can beat round the bush as much as you like. Those shiite covid vaccinations will turn out to be an abomination of biblical proportions.

    Nothing about that whole scam made any damn sense.
    Most certainly not the almost fanatical zeal of a bunch of otherwise clearly EVIL brass bowls to ‘save Bushie’s donkey’ from some exotic virus that they concocted in China….

    It looked like a much and walked like a duck…

  15. @Bush Tea

    Take note.

    Covid-19 still a threat, warn officials
    WHILE COVID-19 cases have declined slightly, health authorities say the viral illness remains a threat in Barbados.
    A COVID-19 epidemiological update from the Ministry of Health and Wellness revealed that the transmission rate from October 24 to 30 remained “substantial”.
    “After ten weeks of steady decline, the incidence of COVID-19 increased by 17 per cent during the week ending October 23, and has decreased by six per cent over the past seven days. Notably PCR testing for COVID-19 has decreased by 21 per cent compared to the previous week,” the report stated.
    There were no COVID-19-associated deaths for last month, with the most dominant strain detected being the BA.5 Omicron sub-variant, after Omicron was first detected in Barbados in January.
    The ministry stated that:
    • in the last seven days, a total of 203 confirmed cases were detected compared to 217 in the previous week.
    • the 14-day (October 17 to 30) cumulative incidence rate was 138 infections per 100 000.
    • 102 968 PCR-confirmed Sars CoV2 infections had been detected from March 16, 2020, to October 30, 2022.
    • the proportion of positive PCR tests has increased from around ten per cent to 12 per cent, meaning 12 of every 100 people tested were positive; and
    • the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 is currently 20, which represents 12 per cent occupancy. Five per cent of the critical care beds are currently occupied. At the end of the week ending October 30, nine people were admitted to the hospital compared to seven at the end of the previous week.
    The positivity rate is at 12 per cent, but the report cautioned that trends were presented using PCR-confirmed cases, meaning case numbers were likely an underestimate as cases captured through surveillance did not represent all cases in the community.
    The report also made reference to the United States warning of a possible “tripledemic” boosted by the reduction of mask-wearing and increased mingling. “Experts in the US are warning of a convergence of three respiratory diseases – COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial
    virus – in what is being called a ‘tripledemic’. Cases of all three infections are rising, likely driven by reduced mask wearing and gathering more indoors.”
    The ministry also mentioned that there were newly emerging sub-lineages of the Omicron variant which have mutations that potentially make them resistant to existing therapeutics and preventive treatments, and possibly immune evasive enough to bypass protections provided by previous infections or vaccination.
    The World Health Organisation COVID-19 dashboard has reported 625.7 million cumulative cases and 6.56 million deaths worldwide as of October 26. Global weekly incidence dropped to 2.8 million new cases after remaining steady for six weeks, decreasing 12.5 per cent compared to the previous week. Weekly incidence in all regions remained relatively steady or fell over the previous week.
    Global weekly mortality continued to decrease for the tenth consecutive week, down 11.6 per cent from the previous week. (CA)

    Source: Nation

  16. LOL @ David
    Bushie is surprised that you can’t smell BS right in front of your nose.

    The thing is a damn coronavirus – just like the cold, and will be around forever – just like the cold….
    It will cause the deaths annually of large numbers of people (some shiite has to cause it – they can’t live forever).

    The REAL elephant on the blog is the people (of all age groups) who are just ‘cocking up and deading’ for heart related issues – and who would normally be expected to live much longer.. ’til the cold or covid19 kills them in old age.

    Why don’t they explore why there are now so many excess deaths GLOBALLY, and the correlation it has with those who took the shiite vaccine?

  17. @ David
    Knowing your propensity to stay up to date, Bushie is quite sure that you have already seen the new film ‘DIED SUDDENLY’. (on rumble, not Utube)

    So the Bushman is somewhat taken aback by your lack of comment.

    Cat got your tongue…??!!

    • @Bush Tea

      Had a look at the documentary, respect all views as you know. There is no doubt the issue of blood clots in people dying from covid 19 occurred, what is inconclusive from the documentary is whether said blood clots were caused by contracting Covid 19. Hopefully there will be deeper investigation into the claim with proper evidence brought to bear.

  18. Two more deaths related to COVID-19
    BARBADOS has recorded another two COVID-19 deaths.
    The latest dashboard released by the Barbados Government Information Service yesterday showed that two people died between January 7 and January 20, bringing the tally of COVID-19 deaths in the island to 571.
    Additionally, 252 new COVID-19 cases were recorded during the same period from among 1 940 tests conducted by laboratories across the island.
    The cases comprised 136 males and 116 females. Among the new cases, 22 people were under the age of 18. There were 16 people hospitalised.
    The laboratories have conducted 790 354 tests since February 2020, and recorded 106 157 COVID-19 cases (47 922 males and 58 235 females).
    Under the National Vaccination Programme for COVID-19, the total number of people with at least one dose is 163 833 (60.5 per cent of the total population).
    The total number of fully vaccinated people is 155 010 (57.2 per cent of the total population).

    Source: Nation

  19. Region urged to ramp up vaccinations
    Caribbean leaders have been urged to continue to build resilience against the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health threats.
    In addition, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has suggested that the islands ramp up vaccination programmes which have lagged in recent months.
    CARPHA emphasised those areas to the political leaders during the just concluded CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in The Bahamas, where the need for a comprehensive response to COVID-19, Mpox and other regional health security threats was highlighted.
    Ongoing threat
    These include the re-emerging threat of zika, the ongoing threat of dengue fever, other vector-borne diseases, the low vaccine uptake and the associated challenges of the regular expanded programme of immunisation.
    In a statement released by CARICOM Friday night after the heads meeting concluded, the regional leaders reported acceptance of the low receipt of surveillance data from member states which could stymie early detection and response to threats to the Caribbean.
    They urged member states to remain vigilant and continue to carry out active surveillance and promote the use of established prevention and control guidelines to curb further spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
    The leaders also recognised the need to allocate adequate resources for vector control programmes to curtail the spread of zika in the region and agreed to support CARPHA’s vaccine campaign launch to improve COVID-19 vaccination levels and the regular expanded programme of immunisation activities.
    The Heads of Government welcomed the establishment by the World Bank of the Pandemic Fund, which would finance critical investments to strengthen pandemic prevention, preparedness and response capacities at national, regional, and global levels, with a focus on lowand middle-income countries.
    Member states were also encouraged to submit expressions of interest to access the Fund in the first round of the process.
    The governments congratulated the executive director of CARPHA, Dr Joy St John, on being named vice chair of the Technical Advisory Panel of the Pandemic Fund Board.

    Source: Nation

  20. Vaccine numbers on the rise again
    Even before COVID-19 struck, vaccination rates among children were falling.
    This was revealed by the senior medical officer of health with responsibility for the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, Dr Ingrid Cumberbatch.
    “There was a decline in the vaccine coverage for the routine childhood vaccines and this decline started before COVID but was certainly exacerbated by the pandemic,” she said.
    Cumberbatch was speaking to the Sunday Sun on Friday in her office at the Ministry of Health, Culloden Road, St Michael. She said the target was 95 per cent of children which would provide herd immunity for the remaining but during the period 2019-2021, some rates dropped as far down as 70 per cent.
    “Barbados had seen a decline in routine childhood vaccinations – poliomyelitis (polio), DPT (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) one and two. For polio and DPT, that decline went from 91 per cent to 82 per cent and MMR declined from 100 per cent to 70 per cent,” she said.
    However, the medical professional said she was not despairing and in fact was heartened as the numbers were slowly but surely on the increase once again.
    “What we are seeking to do is build back up the gains we lost during the pandemic to make sure the coverages for our routine vaccination programmes are where we expect them to be. We are pleased to note in 2022 we saw an increasing pattern where that decline is being reversed,” she said.
    Cumberbatch said the 2022 coverage numbers for polio was 86 per cent, for DPT it was also 86 per cent, for MMR 1 it was 85 per cent and MMR 2 it was 73 per cent. She gave her thoughts
    on the fluctuations.
    “MMR 2 is usually historically lower as that vaccine is given at 18 months and that is when the mothers are busy, children are going into day nurseries/ nursery schools and the mothers may have difficulties getting back to the clinics to get that vaccine.
    “Although we are still not at 95 per cent, this increase in the coverage is a really good foundation to continue to build through the ongoing activities we have. I am convinced we will at least return to the pre-2019 levels because although we say we are looking at a target of 95 per cent, once the coverage reaches 80 per cent or above, it gives us a certain comfort level.
    “The main reason I believe coverage decreased is due to the measures we had to put in place for COVID. We never stopped offering vaccines for the children but the fears of being exposed when seeking medical attention in the public facilities caused persons not to go.
    “But, with the relaxing of the measures and making access what it was prior to COVID, persons are again coming,” she said, adding there had been an increase in vaccination coverage at private facilities during the pandemic.
    The senior medical officer also touched on exemptions. She said a vaccination card was a requirement to enter school but some parents sought exemptions for various reasons.
    “It is important to know who and how many people are opting to be exempted from vaccinations as they become part of the vulnerable group. When or if something happens such as an outbreak, they will have to be taken out of school,” she said.
    Cumberbatch said there was always the possibility of someone opting to home school their children, although this, too, was monitored by the Ministry of Education. She said the parent may
    opt not to vaccinate or seek an exemption but said such measures were not just for nursery and primary schools as they were also necessary for secondary and tertiary educational facilities as well. ( CA)

    Source: Nation

  21. After dodging the Covid monster for 3 years it finally caught me on All Fool’s Day 2023. My experience wasn’t too bad, maybe my 4 vaccines helped as I had my “ressurrection” on Easter morning.

  22. Welcome Back Love
    Some thought you was dead
    but I knew you wasn’t dead
    I thought your computer died

  23. @ King David,
    I see that you have resurrected Simple Simon. Bush Tea, GP and the government of Barbados, may be interested in the very important link below which should worry all those who, willingly, accepted the covid-19 vaccine.

  24. George: Nothing alarming in Covid-19 test results

    The most recent COVID-19 samples received from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) have not raised any concerns among local health authorities.
    Chief Medical Officer The Most Honourable Dr Kenneth George said he was aware of information circulating on social media about a new variant. He told the Barbados Government Information Service
    that while some of the information contained in the post had credibility, the rest of the details given were not substantiated by science.
    He said Barbados’ COVID-19 hospitalisation rate remained low, at less than five per cent occupancy.
    “We continue to send
    random samples to CARPHA for genomic typing. To date, none of the samples returned have required our immediate action. The positivity rate remains between 25 and 30 per cent. However, there is no indication that transmission rates have increased or that persons are having adverse outcomes. The Ministry of Health and Wellness will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation internationally,” George explained.
    He again encouraged people to protect themselves by “masking up” if they were in “unsure” situations, and to continue to protect those who were over age 65 as well as those who had chronic conditions from contracting COVID-19.

    Source: Nation

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