As Barbados records 1,017 new cases of COVID-19 in 48 hours, the leading Infectious Disease Control and Prevention Specialist Dr Corey Forde is urging Barbadians to continue with the protocols that have seen the country through the Alpha and Delta waves previously.
“We must rise above all our challenges…
“We’ve been here before. All of you have been afraid, you’ve been nervous about all the different waves, whatever else is to come, even the one in France that’s out there lurking, we’re all afraid, but I think if we continue to do the things that we know are right, follow the protocols, that I believe we will walk our way through this quite safely.”
Honing in on the fact that some may be especially afraid at this time as numbers begin to climb once more since the announcement by the Chief Medical Officer at the end of December that Omicron is present and at the community transmission level locally, Dr Forde said he understands fear but wants citizens and residents to keep their guards up, especially now.
“I think the most important thing even if you’re fearful” because he accepts there is an element of fear among the general public, his mission is to “try to get across to you that it is okay to be fearful but it is often very important to prepare, and preparation becomes very important in the presence of Omicron as we look to see what is going on across the world.”
With the United States recording some 1 million new cases due to Omicron in 24 hours this week and parts of Canada going back in lockdown until the end of January, he told Barbadians not to panic because the picture of rising numbers is not unique to our island.
“But what can you do in the general public to assist us certainly in the isolation?
“I generally believe that all of you in Barbados that you generally understand what you need to do because you have done it before.” Not choosing the path of tongue lashing or condemning those who neglect protocols, instead, he said he wants to encourage persons to continue to do the “right things that you know are going to get us through this bump that is going to occur.”
He said, “we can soar above this storm” if people “wear your mask” and keep it on properly; “distance yourself when you can, get boosted…, get vaccinated…, and when cases of Omicron hit the numbers are going to increase and we understand that and we will ask that you isolate at home. Stay home so that it does not continue to spread throughout the communities.”
Dr Forde said, ultimately if every single person adheres, “we will ride our way safely through or soar above the challenges which will occur”.