The majority of the world’s countries are currently battling the spread of COVID-19. With local and federal governments testing vaccines, drafting models to alleviate hospitals and its healthcare staff, and providing reports on the economy, it seems as if another crucial piece to battling the virus is leaving those most vulnerable in the open.
According to Barbados Today, the United States reportedly seized 20 ventilators that was meant to be shipped to Barbados. The Caribbean nation’s Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, said the ventilators were made available to Barbados through a philanthropic donation. However, out of the country’s 56 patients who tested positive for the virus, only three are on ventilator assistance. According to The New York Times, the country, with a population of 288,000, has tested 527 people thus far.
“They were seized in the United States. Paid for, but seized, so we are trying to see exactly what is going to transpire there,” Bostic said. “But I remind you that ventilators are one of the most in-demand times in the world today and Barbados is merely wrestling with the other 203 countries and territories around the world seeking to secure as many of these pieces of equipment as possible.” Additionally, five of those ventilators that were donated by Rihanna, a native of the country, will arrive in the coming weeks.
On Sunday (April 5), the country reported that its first death from the novel coronavirus, an 81-year-old man who suffered from pneumonia and diabetes. Bostic assured the public that there’s “an adequate amount of ventilators at this point and ventilators have been arriving almost daily over the past two weeks or so.” Other nations like Haiti, which has 21 positive cases according to the Miami Herald, is currently seeking personal protective equipment (PPE) from masks to a surplus of ventilators.