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Statement by Minister of Health, Lt. Col Jeffrey Bostic

It is with sadness and a deep sense of loss that the entire Ministry and I, join with the members of the health fraternity and nurses in particular, to mourn the passing of a Queen Elizabeth Hospital Nursing Assistant, who died yesterday as a result of #COVID19

The Nursing Assistant died at Harrison Point, where she had been a patient for nine days. Our fallen sister loved her job; loved caring for people; she was an excellent nurse; well-loved and; well respected. As the first health care worker to die from COVID-19 in Barbados, her death shook the nursing and health care communities yesterday.

Every day, health care workers in Barbados and across the world go into battle and put themselves at risk in an attempt to keep societies safe. They are our first line of defense, and we owe them an immense debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice. In this daily fight that is waged across the globe, several health care workers have contracted COVID-19 while trying to save others.

Prior to yesterday, Barbados had so far been spared the loss of any of its health care workers and the cases of COVID among the QEH staff have largely been the result of community spread and not direct patient to caregiver contact.

If this young woman’s life is not to be in vain, her death must share two lessons with the rest of this country. Those lessons are: 1) that COVID is no respecter of age of persons and all of us must take it seriously; 2) that we in this country owe a responsibility to each other, to our communities, to our families to be more thoughtful, caring and protective of each other and to follow the health and safety protocols, or we will be placing not only ourselves, but someone else in harm’s way.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness extends deepest condolences to her grieving relatives and friends. I urge Barbadians to pray for this family and others who are mourning the loss of loved ones as a result of COVID-19. I especially ask for your prayerful support for our nurses, doctors, orderlies, general workers and other frontline workers.

May she rest in peace.

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