Five of the people on last Saturday’s Jet Blue repatriation flight, who tested negative on arrival, have now tested positive for COVID-19.

The new cases were recorded following the twice-negative COVID test rule put in place for persons arriving Barbados from high risk areas.

All of the passengers from that flight would have been in quarantine, as mandated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and constantly monitored.

According to the Ministry, their positive testing now suggests the virus would have been contracted prior to arriving in Barbados, but would not have developed to the point where it was manifested in the initial test.

Health Minister Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic says this was precisely what local health authorities have been warning about, as the disease takes up to 14 days to present itself in the PCR test used by local authorities.

Therefore, the Barbados authorities instituted a mandatory second test for all persons arriving from high risk areas, such as the United States, Brazil and other parts of Latin America and Eastern Europe.

He says the discoveries today are tribute to the monitoring mechanisms put in place by the authorities in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, noting that a negative COVID-19 test on arrival is but the first hurdle.

Minister Bostic says obtaining a second negative test within five to seven days is required before an individual can be given the all clear to go out into the society.

The five new positive tests bring the national total to 103, with 6 people in isolation.

A total of 115 passengers arrived on the flight last Saturday. 95 retests were done yesterday, and the remainder are being completed today.

A total of 146 tests were conducted yesterday, bringing the number completed by the public health laboratory to 8,801.