Barbados: Delta, Gamma & Alpha variants remains present

Out of the eighteen COVID-19 samples recently tested by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), nine samples has revealed that the Delta, Gamma and Alpha variants remain present on Barbados island.

Barbados: Out of the eighteen COVID-19 samples recently tested by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), nine samples has revealed that the Delta, Gamma and Alpha variants remain present on Barbados island.

The information was provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Barbados – Dr Kenneth George. During a press conference this Sunday, the CMO outlined the response of the Barbados government to the determination of 40 positive COVID-19 cases.

The CMO stated eighteen samples were tested, out of which nine of those were found of Alpha Variant, B.117, 3 of the samples were the Delta variant, and the remaining 3 of the samples were the Gamma variant.

“What I would hasten to say is that based on the information that we have, those cases of Delta were imported cases. So, there is good reason to believe that the original first mutation that caused significant public health concern across the globe, which is B.1.1.7 [Alpha], that B. 1.1.7 is here In Barbados and that persons need to know that that variant is in our country.”

George further disclosed that three vaccinated travellers have tested positive for COVID-19.

He said: “So there have been three persons who have arrived in Barbados who have been previously vaccinated and have come to Barbados, and as part of protocols they have turned positive tests … and we are monitoring that situation.”

The Chief Medical Officer further made apparent that the COVID-19 vaccines offer much protection for those who catch the coronavirus. CMO has also requested the citizens to get themselves vaccinated against the mutant as soon as possible.

“With respect to the individuals becoming sick who are vaccinated, that is extremely uncommon worldwide, and that is the experience of Barbados, and that is why we encourage you in the ministry of health please those who are not vaccinated this is one of your best chances of making sure that you don’t get very ill and you transmit disease less,” CMO stated.

Despite this, the Minister of Health and Wellness – Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, told the media that it was too early to blame the new 40 cases to the variants. He had also raised concern over the citizens not coming forward for their treatment, even those who are symptomatic.

The Minister further emphasised that even with these variants, prevention and control measures including mask-wearing, social distancing, hand sanitising and vaccination against the deadly mutant remains the best protection against the deadly COVID-19 mutant.