CABINET NOTES for March 2, 2022

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The Cabinet met face-to-face, all members present.

1. Cabinet held a discussion on Covid-19 and the mandates and protocols that have been guiding Government’s policy, since March 2020. The mandate requiring all persons entering Government buildings to provide proof of vaccination, is no longer required. All other protocols remain in place including hand washing, social distancing and wearing of masks. It is Cabinet’s intention to make mask-wearing optional, shortly. Cabinet encourages all those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so in order to increase their protection against any variant that may emerge and might be deadlier than the Omicron. Cabinet noted that there are no patients hospitalized with Covid and that in the past week only twenty-three (23) cases were detected.

2. The Minister of Immigration reported that the first day of the Amnesty Programme went seamlessly. The expectation is that over the next sixty (60) days—or up until April 30th when amnesty ends—several thousand immigrants would have regularized their status. Each immigrant must acquire a numbered form and pay $200.00 in order to gain amnesty. Other fees will follow depending on whether one has been resident in Antigua from four years to fewer than seven years, and is seeking lawful residency; anyone who has spent seven or more years and is seeking citizenship will then pay a different fee.

3. The Cabinet invited the APUA Water Manager to its meeting, in order to provide timelines, to answer questions about the quantum of resources required, and the current performance of various Reverse Osmosis plants.

The Crabbes Plant, for example, has six units; four units now produce 2.5 million gallons of potable water per day; and, when its two other units are brought back online, the Plant will be back up to 3 million gallons per day. The Cabinet was informed that the membranes used to operate RO plants grow increasingly inefficient with use. The membranes are cleaned frequently and APUA changes those parts every 3 to 5 years.

The Ivan Rodriguez Plant which is at Barnacle Point produces 1.4 million gallons per day with six units; two of the units are currently being maintenanced in a staggered fashion that allows for the plant to continue to produce a significant portion of its maximum output.
At Camp Blizzard, Cabinet was informed that there are four units there at the moment, and they are all functioning. Their membranes were replaced in 2018 and are about ready to have new membranes installed sometime within the next twelve months.

At Ffryes Beach, four units are online producing 90% of its production capacity or 1,600,000 gallons per day; that increase has caused the southern parts of Antigua to receive more potable water than ever before.

The Fort James Plant, which is under construction, will be fully commissioned before September 2022 and has been purchased for more than $14 million dollars.

The Pigeon Point RO Plant produces more than 300,000 gallons of potable water daily. It will be sufficient to meet the demands of the villages and communities in St. Paul, the yachts and other vessels that will be participating in the Antigua Sailing Week at the end of April.

Two storage tanks that remain unconnected are being connected through the use of polyethylene pipes, since it was determined that PVC pipes cannot be used. The soil is rocky and will puncture the pipes if there is earth movement, the Cabinet was told. The Cabinet was also informed that new membranes can be shipped five to six weeks following an order; they cannot be kept in storage for more than a few weeks before deteriorating.
In Barbuda, the Cabinet was informed that the building to house the RO plant has begun construction. The 2017 hurricane destroyed an RO plant and infrastructure that provided the Village of Codrington with potable water. The new plant will fulfill the needs of homes as well as institutions that require potable water.

4. The Cabinet held a discussion on issues of the Blue Economy. The Minister responsible assured the Cabinet that there is great potential in securing minerals and other substances from the seabed that falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Antigua and Barbuda. UWI Five Islands has been successful collaborating with the Association of Commonwealth Universities to have professors as well as students interested in oceanography and the Blue Economy, to utilize the Five Islands Campus for special courses as well as research. UWI Five Islands is positioning itself to be the university of choice for those who wish to study Oceanography and exploitation of sustainable ocean resources.

5. The Cabinet received a request from Mr. Jamale Pringle to provide him with a portion of crown land in partial satisfaction of a debt owed to him for work he has done for National Solid Waste Management Authority. The Cabinet has agreed but will conduct an audit of the debts which the businessman claims are owed to him.

6. The Cabinet was informed of the rape of a young girl by a group of adult males. All the agencies of the Government within the social protection systems have been activated to address the needs of the victim. The issue of prosecution is outside of the remit of the Executive arm of Government. The appropriate agency is conducting a full investigation.

7. The former Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Jocelyn Greene, is to be buried on Thursday, 3 March 2022; a funeral service is to be held at the Greenbay Moravian Church at 2:00 pm. Representation from the Cabinet will be present. The Cabinet expresses its sympathies to the husband, daughter and family, coworkers and friends of a true daughter of the soil.
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12 COMMENTS

    • In effect, no. Just look at this disgraceful nonsense the government has just published in relation to the return of unvaccinated nationals. Then compare it with what’s being asked of tourists. It’s exclusion by another name. Such shameful slave mentality on show. And woefully unscientific too. Pathetic. $$$$

      https://visitantiguabarbuda.com/wp-content/uploads/Updated-Travel-Advisory-02-March-2022.pdf

      6. Unvaccinated returning nationals and residents with no COVID 19 symptoms
      are permitted entry provided they:
      a. Present a negative certified PCR/Rapid Antigen Test result taken no
      more than four (4) days prior to arrival in Antigua and Barbuda.
      b. Submit to RT PCR testing upon arrival at their own expense.
      c. Quarantine for ten (10) days if partially vaccinated –
      i. Either received 1 dose of a 2-dose vaccine OR
      ii. the 2nd dose of a 2-dose vaccine was received less than two weeks
      prior to arrival.
      d. Quarantine for fourteen (14) days if unvaccinated.
      If symptoms appear during the period of quarantine, the person must be
      placed in isolation and will be tested for COVID-19.’

  1. I know these are government officials and we should always honour them but they are not talking sense. Those of you who got infected with Alpha, Delta or Omicron AFTER being injected…please explain to the rest of us why we should take said injection to protect from a strain of the virus that has not yet been identified. Most respectfully…wouldn’t that be the definition of insanity?

      • The jabs fade after several weeks, are ineffective against Omnicron, and currently carry a higher risk of adverse reactions and death than covid itself. Have you checked out the recently released Pfizer docs? We’ve been lied to big time.

        • 8 pages of side effects, and a death rate of 3% IN THE TRIALS before application for approval. That’s 12x the death rate of COVID!!!

      • Explain to me how protecting YOU from hospitalization or death benefits ME, when YOU can still get and spread the disease? It sounds cruel but I have heard virologists say it, and it makes sense: Preventing serious illness is a recipe for prolonging an outbreak. Think about it, one thing that hospitalized or dead people don’t do well is spread disease.

        *Vaccines control an outbreak by !!preventing transmission!! Check your history. There are no exceptions.
        *A vaccine that doesn’t prevent transmission is a misnomer. It doesn’t make sense
        *Immunity means you cannot be affected. For example, diplomatic immunity doesn’t get you a reduced sentence. It means you cannot be charged (crazy I know). Now, apply that to disease. Regardless of what you will hear on TV these days…that is immunity
        *In the very beginning we were promised that the vaccines would “stop the spread”. I remember, I was there.
        *Now that the cat is out of the bag that they can’t stop it from spreading the next big promise…”prevents hospitalization and death”. The only problem with that is, the latest UK data says otherwise.

      • So let me get this straight…I’m supposed to feel safer around you because YOU took an injection which is supposed to protect YOU from sickness while allowing you to spread it to ME? Doesn’t that turn this whole social responsibility thing on it’s head? I don’t care if I give it to you, as long as I survive. Is that what we have become now?

  2. Don’t anyone get fooled by the low numbers of Covid cases and deaths. Europe is still in crisis.
    I will keep my mask on untill such time as it is really safe to do so.

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