Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has reiterated that Barbados is spending $30 million on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms. Mottley said that even though the country was in an IMF programme, the country was ensuring that it could significantly expand its hospital and medical treatment capacity.
“We are in a good shape to be able to start to face this,” she said, during a press conference at Ilaro Court today, where she announced that another three persons had tested positive for the virus.
The Prime Minister stated that she would be dealing with some serious financial and economic issues tomorrow when she addresses the House of Assembly.
“We have to make sure that we do not become singularly focused on COVID-19 such that we forget that people have other issues and problems in this country. And those other issues … can be equally destabilizing for a person or family….
“I have to focus on all of the issues facing this country, whether it is that people are … struggling with unemployment, … other forms of abuse in the family, whatever it is, because these things also affect people’s lives in the same way that COVID-19 will affect it,” Ms. Mottley stated.
She noted that she met yesterday with a wide cross section of members of the private sector, the union movement, owners of capital and vendors to discuss issues surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on Barbados.
Ms. Mottley said they understood the difficulties facing the country and about 90 per cent of them expressed the view that the country should not fully shut its borders.
“Shutting our borders fully has implications for the movement of cargo, and has implications, ultimately, for the movement of people. But having said that, we anticipate a significant reduction of commercial air flights for passengers, in particular,” she added.