Health Minister concerned COVID-19 cases could spike after New Year’s Day Celebrations


The Minister for Health Molwyn Joseph said he is worried people will abandon the COVID-19 protocols resulting in a possible rise in coronavirus cases following celebrations for New Year’s Day.


“There has been evidence that people are becoming fatigued of not having the latitude of socializing and so forth, which I can understand but here we are within striking distance of holding down this COVID, waiting for a vaccine and at the same time doing it in a way where we can grow our economy and for people to put their guards down at this time only for one night or two nights. I want them to put it in perspective”, Joseph said.


He said all the progress made to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the population can be eroded during the celebrations.


“That is my concern and I really want to appeal to the hotels, I want to appeal to the bars and all the people who plan their parties please you need to forgo the usual traditional celebrations. We’ll get it, the future is there, we’ll go back to that one day but for now, this 2020 moving into 2021 please let us not blow it”, he said.


“It has a lot of implications, if we blow it, it has implications for our economy, if we blow it, it has implications for our capacity to manage a huge surge of illnesses, if we blow it, it has implications for whether or not we open our schools”, the Minister cautioned.”

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  1. If you are concerned about a spike after New years celebrations then the only logical thing to do is delay school opening for a week or put tighter controls in place for the first week of school. The school will always give a reflection of what is happening in the wider community.

  2. Churches are still having services, huge funerals still taking place but it’s the NYE parties that will spread it. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  3. “There has been evidence that people are becoming fatigued of not having the latitude of socializing and so forth, which I can understand but here we are within striking distance of holding down this COVID, waiting for a vaccine….”
    The last part of this comment concerns me. “Waiting for a vaccine”. There already are a couple of vaccines – one from the USA (Pfizer/BioNtech), one from the UK (Oxford/AstraZenica), People in the UK and the USA have started to be vaccinated starting about three weeks ago. hasn’t Antigua ordered any of these vaccines yet. The Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine is about 95% effective in preventing the worst of symptoms but has to be stored at excessively low temperature. The Oxford university vaccine is about 70% effective, but can be stored at room temperature and is considerably cheaper than the other vaccine. Hasn’t Antigua ordered nay of these vaccines yet given your population is so small?

    • @eleanor – Most of the Caribbean source vaccinations through the UN as
      a) their buying power ensures best price
      b) their negotiating muscle ensures the worlds Small Island Developing States receive vaccine (otherwise big developed countries would buy out all the supplies for years to come)
      This pandemic affects every country but not all have the clout or buying power to access on their own.
      c) the Caribbean has been advised we will likely begin to receive doses from March (one reason being the OECS has low rates currently)
      d) Those that wish to be vaccinated would prefer AZ/OU over Russian/Chinese vaccines, hence the chain of events above.
      I hope this clarifies why we can’t just go buy some AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine.

      ALSO CRITICALLY WHY WE CANNOT ALLOW FATIGUE (& the almighty $ )TO EXCUSE POTENTIAL SPREADER EVENTS, ACTIVITIES & ACTIONS or, like big countries who have started vaccinating, we’ll be in lockdown again with surging cases.
      We MUST mask, 6′ distance, wash hands regularly, gather up to 10 people and remain alert, as tourists are given free rein in Antigua from leaving the airport, so we need to look after ourselves in this New Year because vaccinations in our tourist source countries will not reach the critical mass numbers to allow for any relaxing of protocols until earliest the third quarter of 2021, and that is hopeful.

  4. There are some businesss places that are not COVID safe. They do not put up plexi glass and the employees have to bring in their own cleaning supplies but they need their job.

    Does the government let their work places provide safe environment for their workers.

    My sister works at a doctor office and their is no plexi glass up and no cleaning supplies.. the government should go around and check on these places

  5. Blame the New Year’s celebrations for your lies.Shut your “Sir” hole.No one wants to hear from you,”Sir”.

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