As schools reopen, PM says no room for complacency in managing COVID

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School being sanitized by CBH Officer

As the nation’s schools reopen tomorrow, Prime Minister Gaston Browne is warning that, “We cannot afford to become complacent,” in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in Antigua and Barbuda.

He said all residents must continue to exercise personal responsibility, follow the protocols and protect themselves, their relatives, their friends and the overall society.

 

“It’s even more important now to ensure full compliance, recognizing that we are opening up schools on Monday, so the management of comorbidity is more critical at this point to ensure that there is no domestic transmission, or if there’s any, that we’re able to control the domestic transmission,” the Prime Minister said.

“But more critically, is to avoid any form of community spread … we just have to continue to be vigilant and to manage this risk the best way we can, so it requires the full cooperation of all, especially insofar as managing those students.

“We need the cooperation of the entire society to include parents, teachers, Ministry of Education officials and other support staff — even those who operate buses. Health workers will be involved and the response has to be a coordinated one in which we will all commit ourselves to do whatever we can to manage the risk of transmission of COVID within our schools,” Browne added.

The Prime Minister explained that if any child contracts COVID within a school and there is exposure, officials may have to close the school, or if it’s a class that is exposed, isolate or quarantine as appropriate the members of the particular class.

“So it could be very disruptive if a single student is to contract COVID within the school,” the Prime Minister said.

He said health officials will be trying to keep the students within a bubble and that in itself requires a significant amount of supervision.

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