A 54-year-old woman is the latest to test positive for COVID-19 and officials at the Ministry of Health are attributing its detection to “out-of-the-box thinking”.
In a media release through the Barbados Government Information Service, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George, explained on Wednesday, that following the positive diagnoses of five returning nationals last weekend, a decision was taken to extend the quarantine period of persons seated in close proximity to them.
And although they would have tested negative twice seven days apart, “they remained under close supervision of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and were told to self quarantine for another week, out of an abundance of caution”.
It was on the third examination that the woman tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Not many countries in the world, if any at all, administer a third test, but Barbados chose this course of action following last weekend’s five case revelation. And to date, that third testing of selected passengers on the repatriation flight from New York to Barbados on July 4th, has thrown up a single new positive case,” the release said.
The woman was in quarantine since returning to Barbados and after seven days, was informed the period would be extended given her proximity to others who tested positive on the same flight.
Dr George said this was a tribute to the protocols and practices of the Ministry of Health and Wellness as well as a commentary on the dynamic nature of this virus.
“For a person to test positive 11 days after arriving in the county and after two negative tests seven days a apart is very interesting in the least, but I am happy that we did the necessary contact tracing and that we benefitted from the full cooperation of passengers aboard that flight. However, this is COVID-19 and we shall not stop our search for any and all possible instances of spread in Barbados,” the Chief Medical Officer said.
The Best-Santos Public Health laboratory has now completed 9 091 tests. There are 104 confirmed cases, 90 recoveries and seven deaths.