British High Commission concerned about reporting on so-called Antigua variant

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MISREPORTING OF NEW COVID VARIANT VUI-202103/01 (lineage B.1.324.1)
The British High Commission in St John’s is concerned about inaccurate media reporting following the announcement by Public Health England (PHE) that two people in South East England who had recently returned from Antigua and Barbuda had tested positive for a new variant of COVID-19. PHE’s statement can be found
here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/confirmed-cases-of-covid-19-variants-identified- in-uk
The British High Commission should like to confirm there is no scientific evidence to determine where this variant first emerged. Giving variants a country’s name is inaccurate, unhelpful, and can generate prejudices and misunderstanding.
All viruses mutate over time and, since the start of the pandemic, many thousands of variants have been identified in the UK and across the world. The majority of variants emerge and subsequently become extinct as they stop being passed on. This is assisted by testing, contact tracing and isolation.
We regret any misunderstanding that may have arisen over this matter. The UK government will continue to work closely with Antigua and Barbuda health officials in our common goal to overcome the ongoing threat to lives and livelihoods posed by this virus. PHE would additionally be happy to support the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and offer to sequence any samples transferred to the UK to support control of COVID transmission in the country.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. The Spanish flu didn’t originate in Spain.

    The British variant, Brazilian variant, and South African variant may not have originated in those countries either.

    The point is it looks like some tourists returned home with a disease that they probably didn’t have when they went on vacation.

    But maybe they did have it when they went on vacation. We’ll never know since Antigua doesnt believe in testing people at the border and all diseased and non-diseased folks are welcome with open arms (except “returning nationals” of course)

    Bottom line, the incompetent and unethical and downright criminal response to this pandemic which the Gaston Brown administration has employed has killed persons and tourism alike.

    • It is still a requirement to enter Antigua with a negative PCR test. And testing on arrival is optional and determined by the officials at the airport. However every tourist returning home to the UK the USA and Canada need to have a possitive PCR test. And that testing is done at MSJMC. So entering the UK it would have revealed that they were positive or not coming from Antigua.

      • You have your own variant lol

        And you’re still defending the nonsense protocols that caused this disaster?

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