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Nov 9, 2020

Evacuating Flooding Victims Amid COVID-19

Dean Barrow

Disaster relief amid a pandemic will prove challenging for frontline workers who are tasked with carrying out evacuation efforts in flood affected communities across the country.  With a ballooning of COVID-19 cases, the exposure of coast guard and B.D.F. personnel, as well as doctors and nurses will increase considerably as they respond to the needs of residents who need emergency assistance.  It is a concern that is not lost on the Prime Minister.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“This is simply going to compound the problems from the health sector’s point of view, but again, it’s a matter of degree and it’s a matter of some tweaking or pivoting perhaps, in terms of the healthcare professionals to deal with the COVID positive clusters, outbreaks in the context of the logistical challenges that are posed as a consequence of the flooding.  But the people who will ensure that those challenges not prove insuperable, not proved insurmountable are all here in this room and on their behalf I can offer the healthcare professionals and the general public the assurance that in fact, there will be complete cooperation and coordination between the NEMO people, the security forces, the public utilities with the healthcare professionals so that we’re not going to be in any way hamstrung, at least not to the degree where we would be losing lives or putting anybody at any pronounced risk over and above what the fact of being COVID positive already in fact contemplates. This is happening, as I said, on top of the pandemic, a pandemic which as you know has ballooned, if that’s not too strong a word, over the last few weeks.  And so again, we pay tribute to the frontline workers, the security forces are also going to be obliged in the context of the flooding to do, once again, double duty.  You know how much they have assisted the health frontline workers in terms of the pandemic and now clearly with respect to relief supplies needing to reach remote villages and needing to reach places that are not especially remote.”

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