Ventilators are being used to provide support for COVID-19 positive patients who experience breathing difficulties.
Colonel Bostic, who was speaking during a news conference yesterday, revealed that the ventilators donated to the Barbados Government as an act of philanthropy were barred from being exported from the United States.
On Friday, the US president Donald Trump announced he was invoking the Defense Production Act to restrict U.S. exports of key medical gear. This has resulted in the US government hijacking shipments of PPEs, ventilators, masks and other crucial supplies meant for other countries, including U.S. allies, and strong-arming private firms to prioritize America over other parts of the world.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic emphasized that there was an adequate number of ventilators in the island at this point, adding: “And ventilators have been arriving almost daily over the past two weeks or so.”
He explained that “From the outset of the prevalence of this virus in Wuhan, China, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Mia Mottley issued an open cheque to the Ministry of Health and Wellness for the procurement of ventilators.”
To date, he said, it has been necessary to use only three ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients. Currently, Government has 37 ventilators, which it owns and 11 others owned by private sector interests, which have been placed at the disposal of the Government, he disclosed.
“So, it is absurd for anyone to say, suggest, imply or insinuate that there is a shortage, or could in the foreseeable future be an acute shortage of ventilators on the island.”
Minister Bostic further stated that more than 150 ventilators were currently on order, through five different sources. These, he said, were already paid for and in the process of being shipped or awaiting shipment.
He also revealed that five of the ventilators donated to the island by Rihanna were due to arrive in the island next week. Rihanna has committed to purchase BDS$1.4 million worth of ventilators for Barbados.
The Health and Wellness Minister reminded Barbadians that ventilators were the most in-demand item in the world today, and Barbados was competing with the 203 other countries and territories around the globe seeking to secure as many ventilators as possible.
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