Some NAB staff return to work

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Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde, this morning welcomed some staff members of the National Assistance Board back to headquarters after they left quarantine for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with “clean bills of health”.

While thanking the NAB staff for their contribution to society, she warned the public against stigmatising them. Forde also reminded everyone to be on their guard in relation to COVID-19.

A media release from Government said the staff members, who returned today, are those who tested negative for the viral illness and were in quarantine for 14 days at hotels, along with the members of their households.

The seven staff members who tested positive remain on sick leave. Six of them have been released from isolation after two consecutive negative tests for COVID-19. They are continuing their recovery at home. One person remains in isolation.

Forde noted that the experience had been a traumatic one for the staff, and warned the public against stigmatising them.

 “And so I want the rest of Barbados and the world to know how much we value the contribution of these hardworking, dedicated members of staff here, who do not only look after their own families, but they go out into the trenches and into the households and communities across the length and breadth of Barbados to be able to bring service and care, particularly to our elderly folk.”

She said the NAB served more than 1 100 clients, and included within its senior citizens’ clientele are 200 people who are entirely dependent on its services because there are no family members or other support systems to care for them.

Forde praised “the strength, the resilience and the camaraderie” of the staff, and commended healthcare workers who ensured that they received the quality care necessary to enable them to return to work.

On another note, the minister said six former members of the St Thomas community in which she grew up had lost their lives to COVID-19 in the United States.

 “We grew up together; we worked together; we worshipped together and so I want to advise all Barbadians do not let your guard down. Whether it be on the street, in the buses or whatever form of transport you’re using, whether you are going around in the workplace, take nothing for granted.” (BGIS)

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