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A busy street in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. (File photo)

Barbadians hoard supplies despite no confirmed virus case

A busy street in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. (File photo)

The Barbados government has appealed to nationals to stop their excessive spending at supermarkets and stores and hoarding supplies in reaction to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley

“There is no need for it, and in most instances, we have two or three months’ supply on island for almost everything. The Ministry of Commerce has checked critical supplies and I am meeting with the Chamber of Commerce again…,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley said.

She told media managers that her government was taking a very measured approach to the matter and urged their cooperation in helping her to convey this message.

“We are more than ready. We have purchased the ventilators; we are also making sure that the pharmaceutical situation is in good shape…”

– Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley

Acknowledging that it was no longer if but when the first case of the virus would be detected in Barbados, Mottley said she was “really …proud of my frontline workers from the Ministry of Health at our port facilities.

“We have been doing this now for over six weeks….  Barbados has been an example of how to manage a crisis.”

 She said the key component now, because “we are closer to it than we were before”, would be to ensure that the Barbadian public did not panic and she told the media managers that they were a key part of that equation.

Mottley said Barbados has supplies for two to three months for most things.
(Photo: businessinsider.com)

Apart from Jamaica, which has recorded eight cases, other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries reporting cases of the virus that has killed more than 5,000 people since it was first detected in China last December, are Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Suriname, St Luca and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Prime Minister Mottley said that if a situation arises, Barbados would be ready.

“We are more than ready. We have purchased the ventilators; we are also making sure that the pharmaceutical situation is in good shape, not just for COVID-19, but for all because the world is facing a disruption in supply…and therefore we have been planning ahead, not just for COVID-19 but for Barbados.”

She said in that regard, another 750 acres of land was being brought back into domestic food production over the course of the next few weeks, which was planned even before this crisis, putting Barbados way ahead of the curve.