In a near 60min press interview Wednesday night on the islands national TV station. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley answered some of the publics pressing questions on her governments' response to the global Pandemic Covid-19.
When asked why her government had not taken similar actions as its international counterparts in the instituting of a travel ban on countries with reported cases of the Covid-19 virus, the Prime Minister responded;
“The science is very clear with respect to the fact that the majority of people who in fact may get this virus are in fact only going to get it mildly, eight (8) out of every ten (10) people. There are two distinct vulnerable groups and our duty has been this far to ensure that we can minimise the exposure of those two groups, to make sure that we build up capacity in the event that we are ready when it gets here.”
“But we also have to be conscious that is a small island of 166 square miles almost everything that we use everything that we do has an international component and therefore the question for us has always been will more people be affected negatively in a major way from closing the borders than from screening properly ahead of time, making sure that we do the temperature checks for people coming into Barbados, making sure that we are now adding to that more declarations; with the various airlines to do more pre-screening, but we are also conscious that in any event they are decisions people will make on their own, we believe we have to follow the science.”
The Prime Minister also further explained that some of Barbados counterparts who took such decisions were countries who had all the technological infrastructure in place and are able to self-sustain. She went on to explain that if a decision were to be made in the closing of the countries border that decision wouldn't be made by her government alone but through consultation with all stake-holders.
PM Mottley also revealed that whilst during the past six weeks the country didn't implement a ban guidlines were set;
"we said that if you were coming from China, if you were coming from Italy, if you were coming from South Korea, if your coming from Iran, that if you did, in fact, come to Barbados, you would have to be quarantined. Because the flights from the UK have so many more people and because Barbados is so much more dependent on the UK. The taxi drivers, the hotel workers if people working in laundry, that people working in restaurants think of how many tens of thousands of people in this country are going to be affected once the borders closed."