Hospital reintroduces mask-wearing, as COVID-19 infections appear on the rise; but no official word from Health Ministry

COVID-19 infections appear to be on the increase; and while the Ministry of Health has not published any formal notices or statistics, the public hospital has moved to protect its patients, staff and visitors.

In a communique late last week, the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre announced that, effective today, May 30, the wearing of face masks will be reintroduced due to the escalating number of COVID-19 cases in the community and the hospital.

Unless persons are exempted, the hospital says, they should wear a mask in all areas of the facility to help prevent the further spread of the virus.  “Together, we need to do all that we can to protect each other and our services,” the notice says.

A woman whose daughter has been hospitalised for more than a week says she was surprised to see visitors without masks at the medical centre, although they are aware the virus is still active. Some of them would be at the bedside of their relatives, she says, not caring about the welfare of other patients in the room.

Several hospital workers, themselves, were not masked, including some doctors, cleaners and food servers, the concerned mother says; and even the front desk staff were not wearing a face covering. 

The woman claims to have overheard a conversation in which one person was asked about the absence of a mask and he responded that he would wear one from Tuesday (today), since it was not mandatory then.

Accordingly, the mother says she is praying for her daughter to be released immediately since the child has now picked up a cough.

Meanwhile, some residents are wondering why Health officials have not published any warnings about infections being on the increase, given the number of fetes taking place every weekend with thousands of people in very close proximity. 

They accuse the Government of being willing to put the Nation at risk in order to make money from these events through taxes.

The World Health Organization recently declared that COVID-19 is no longer a public-health emergency of international concern, adding that it was a major step towards ending the pandemic. 

A local believes it is this statement that has emboldened the people to behave more recklessly.