Nine Ghanaian nurses in Barbados test positive for COVID-19

A total of nine nurses out of the 95 who arrived in Barbados for a two-year work contract have tested positive for COVID-19.

In an update on COVID-19 cases in the country, the Caribbean country’s acting Chief Medical Office,r Dr. Kenneth George, announced on Saturday, August 1, that 12 cases have been detected out of 248 tests.

“Nine of them are from Ghana… The other 86 tested negative,” he said. “It should be noted that all of the nurses went into a 14-day quarantine on arrival”.

He said all carriers of the infection are asymptomatic and explained the details of the other cases.

“A Barbadian female who returned to the island on July 29; 2) a male visitor who arrived on July 30; and 3) a Barbadian man who arrived from the United Kingdom with a negative test, but who when required to be tested to travel again, returned a positive test result.

“We are still investigating the circumstances of the last case. This will require extensive contact tracing, which the population is so aware that the public health team does on a daily basis,” he stated.

Ghana exports nurses to Barbados

The 95 Ghanaian nurses touched down in Barbados on Thursday, July 30, 2020, via a chartered flight.

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Motley, made the request when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo visited the country in 2019 for bilateral discussions in Barbadian capital of Bridgetown.

Subsequently, the Foreign Minister of Ghana and Barbados, on behalf of the two governments, signed an agreement for the recruitment of a total of 120 nurses from Ghana to complement the staffing needs of the island nation.

The Ministry of Health subsequently recruited nurses for a two-year contract with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados.

They include cardiac care nurses, critical care nurses, emergency room nurses, operating theatre nurses, ophthalmic nurses and registered general nurses.

About 600 nurses had applied for the programme but the list was scaled-down considerably, with 95 leaving in July.

The government has already given indications that it is working to send Ghanaian nurses to countries such as Germany, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.


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