Ignorant and ‘irresponsible’ returning nationals to blame for COVID spread

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Prime Minister Gaston Browne is standing by his position that returning nationals posed “the biggest risk” of COVID-19 spreading at the community level in Antigua and Barbuda.

The country has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the year with the number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic now at 832.

“There are many of them who came back here with their ignorance. Because they have a negative COVID test and they were asymptomatic, they took the position that they did not have COVID,” Browne said Saturday on Pointe FM.

“We had a situation too in which one particular returning national came back here for a funeral and he had exposure to his girlfriend who had COVID, and he knew. He came to the funeral, participated in the funeral and when he went back to the United States he tested positive.

“These are the types of irresponsible behaviours that created the problem that we are in,” the nation’s leader said.

The Prime Minister made clear that he was not trying to shame people but rather to bring attention to the risks posed by returning nationals who failed to adhere to the protocols.

“We’re not trying to shame them, what we’re trying to do is to explain the risk to the population so that people can avoid making those mistakes,” he said.

“Some months ago we had a situation too with a wedding in which about seven members of that party got infected with COVID.

“They were ridiculing me for stating that there was spread as a result of that particular wedding, but again what I was trying to do was to bring to the attention of the people the risks.

“Members of the deceased were literally ridiculing me on social media but it is an inescapable fact that there was spread as well at that funeral. In fact there may have been even one deceased person as a result of that, and I will call her name — Clancia. So those of you who live in point who vex about me calling a spade a spade, too bad.

“People got to be a little more responsible. Not because you are an Antiguan citizens and you live abroad you feel you have the right to just come to the country and violate our laws, our regulations in order to control COVID and to protect the people; because that was the primary objective — to control the spread of COVID and to protect our people,” Prime Minister Browne added.

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Caused this catastrophe.

    He has to go on the clown and clown show and insult the citizens that he victimized.

  2. So the people just came home and slipped past the border, eh?

    Officials at the border had no obligation to test or quarantine those folks in a secure facility?

    And of course the thousands of tourists and yachties who had no restrictions imposed on them at all they were COVID free, I guess.

    The truth is mostly tourists (because there’s magnitudes more of them and they aren’t tested or even quarantined) spread disease to this island over the holidays and some returning nationals did as well.

    And both scenarios are the fault of the people who designed faulty border control policies — ie Joseph and Browne and the rest of the clown government

  3. Boss man you open the gateway. Leave your front door at your house open or give someone your bank routing number and account number and see what happens!

      • So we just going to pretend the returning citizens has no responsibility, we going to pretend that the authorities didn’t do the screening and advise them on what to quarantine process entails and what they should and shouldn’t do, but these arrogant Antiguans and Barbudans that lives overseas dont give 2 sh*t about Antigua and Barbuda.

        If the PM would have initially just send all returning nationals to a quarantine facility, the cries would have been totally different- the cry would have been about your freedom and liberty- your constitutional freedom being violated….

        Returning nationals coming back for funerals, wedding and secret family reunions…. its the PM’s policies that cause that too?

        I stand by what I say

        • Trinidad at one time didn’t even allowed their own nationals to return home. Lots of them got stock on cruiseships and some in Barbados.

  4. thank God no one from dominican republic coming to antigua because the prime minister stopped the entry to antigua a long time ago. we are glad that happen what a good decision. thank you again. you can´t blame the spanish community now.

  5. I don’t think these people understand the virus. You are only testing the minority in numbers ,but blaming them . This. Is so disgraceful . I guess this is all about economics. Easier the blame returning nationals than tourist ,because of the dependencies of the tourism dollar.

    • He thinks Antiguans are stupid and can’t see through his bull

      They don’t tests tourists. That’s why you’ll never see imported cases rise.

      But that doesn’t stop infected tourists from spreading disease to local people.

      Also the spread from returning nationals to locals is also on him because it is his government controlling the border.

      It is his government not testing on arrival and putting folks in secure quarantine facilities.

      The buck stops with the 🤡 PM

      • Exactly, I agree with you. His argument is to distract. So PM what happen to the tourist, they are immune from COVID. How shameless of you, blaming the locals so you don’t take responsibility for your mistakes. Antiguans, the reason why Gaston do this is because y’all don’t hold him accountable. The tourist don’t wear mask and they spread the virus to the locals who work at the hotels. Gaston Brown, blame yourself.

        • If it was the tourist, then majority of the infection should have originating from the hotel and other workers directly associated with the tourism industry….. the contact tracing has shown that most of our pre- February cases were mostly linked to funerals, weddings and secret reunion parties…
          Some Y’all need to get real and stop playing petty politics

          • Because Antigua hides all pertinent information.

            And they won’t test tourists. So of course the official reported numbers of “imported cases” barely rise

            But anyone with a brain could have told you that having no restrictions on people coming from high disease areas was going to be a disaster. That there would be a major outbreak and lots of deaths. And here we are.

            By the way, it is absurd to separate into categories imported versus nonimported. All COVID-19 present in Antigua is imported.

            If the borders were controlled adequately, there would be no or minimal disease here.

            The lack of adequate control at the border is on PM Brown. Full stop.

          • Putting a whole country at risk because some tourists threaten to sue is absurd

            And what court are they going to sue in?

            Haha… PM Browne must think Antiguans are dumb and malleable to use the excuse that Antigua cannot test all on arrival because they’ll sue.

            And yet other countries are testing all on arrival.

  6. Please take a page out of Mia Motley’s leadership when it comes to statesmanship. As she saids ” this is not a blame game”. No testing or quarantine for the tourist ,so how can you evaluate the situation ? A hotel worker can pick up the virus at work ,take it home to a family member that arrive from USA ,then you will say that person gave the virus to the family member . These are all realistic things than can happen . The roof of the problem is the two tier system. That’s why st. Kitts can control the virus . All people go through the same protocols .

  7. Gaston’s handling of the covid crisis has been disastrous, but he’s right about this.

    The thing is that he has been saying this for months, but did not adjust the government’s policies to take account of it. There should have been a mandatory quarantine, at a government facility, for returning nationals. Some people clamored for this, but were rebuffed by the government.

    • Tourists and returning citizens alike are all potential disease carriers. The only difference is there’s are many many more tourists that come here.

      There should have been the same policies for all who seek to enter Antigua to protect the population.

      And those policies should have been monitored and enforced.

      The lack of such is on the Prime Minister.

      He is responsible for this disaster. There is a lot of red in his ledger.

      That he cannot step up like a leader, like an adult, like a real man and take responsibility and make corrections should tell you all you need to know about his intelligence (or lack thereof) and his character.

  8. I personally know of antiguan nationals who didn’t followed the quarantine guidelines but what’s this foolishness me ah hear that the same quarantine guidelines NOT applied to the tourists 😤 and correct me if I’m wrong 🤔 Gaston Brown, wife N Pinckney was in America for the vaccine 😒 while he was in America he should a begged America for some testing supplies and covid vaccine 🤔 the same rules should applied to all cus No one is off limit to carrying Covid19 🙄 Antigua needs a leader who’s going to find a solution for all and not singling us out , having toooo many offices while filling his pockets. 🇦🇬

    • The PM didn’t go America for no Vaccine…. are you people serious? Where all these things come from?

      The vaccine was administered to the PM here in Antigua

  9. It’s those same ‘ignorant and irresponsible returning Nations whose #DOLLAR #BARRELS, and monies spent in the local economy which are the #STIMULUS which your Government cannot afford to offer the People especially the elderly who according to reports from your own Cabinet are not being paid on time, and are dehydrated/malnourished from PPM – Piss Poor Management of the Peoples monies in the Treasury!
    Go ahead, blame returning Nationals for your PPP – Piss Poor Planning and PPM – Piss Poor Management policies.

      • The barrels from family abroad are keeping citizens alive when the government fails to provide for the most vulnerable in a global pandemic

        It is also overseas family members sending money, which will be spent on island, and boost the local economy

  10. Enough of the nonsense. Covid-19 is here. Let’s worry about reducing the spread moving forward. There is absolutely no way to convince the masses that only returning residents are spreading Covid. Because it’s not a fact. A person who is asymptomatic will still test positive. Anyway, there will never be any accountability. Just do what we must do to save lives. Take whatever vaccine that is being offered, wear your mask, wash your hands. Home school your children if you must.

  11. It takes an Ignorant and Irresponsible Prime Minister to arrive at such conclusion.
    What a Jack Donkey!

    • He might be a Jack Donkey, but he is trying to be a smart ass. All of those people he was partying with at Jumby Bay, over the holidays, were they tested? All of those people who Came in over the holidays on all those jets lined up on the runway, were they tested? He can’t blame the tourists because he wants their money and if he blamed them they will stop coming. So Antiguans are easy targets. The country should have been shut down but because you either don’t have or don’t to want to provide stimulus for the people, you left the country open. Every body should be up to Gaston’s modus operandi by now.

  12. Ignorant and irresponsible is the way Gaston thinks about you the Nationals of Antigua and Barbuda.Is he saying you all are uneducated and lacking in knowledge.If you voted this man back into Political Office.You deserved what you get.This person with the H-ler moustache must go now.He is nothing more than a bloviating,blowhard.It is always about him and no one else.Blames all others not himself for his dumb arse decisions.

  13. In the mean time if you come as a tourist staying at one of our hotels, you don’t have to stay there you are free to roam the whole island.
    Also if you come by boat, you are free to roam all over English harbour as soon as the boat is secured.

  14. Ignorant people,let us all rise up and march on St Johns for the next 30 consecutive days.Let us show him who are his bosses.We the ignorant people.Let us overthrow his arse.Kick him out of office to jolly Beach and beyond.How dare you,Gaston Browne.Are you certain.You are a Browne.

  15. Mr PM please wrap yourself in a garbage bag and allow your wife to kindly place you beside the your garbage bin to be disposed of by CBH please

  16. So the returning nationals open the boarders and let them selves in mr pm you make absolutely no sense whatsoever I can’t wait for election to put you and your government out of office am so sick of how you blame everybody for the decisions your government makes I rest my case

    • Whomever brought the COVID, it was the person controlling the borders that let them in

      And that person is Gaston Browne

  17. When you blame the Citizens, how about explaining why COVID Positive Patients are being Isolated At Home with their Families, exposing them to the disease, whilst persons under 14-Days Observations are being Quarantined in Government Facilities.

    Antiguans & Barbudans Tired Ah You. If you want to continue behaving like a Clown, build yourself a Circus in your backyard and tap dey and perform to you Pickney dem and Tinklebell. Better yet walk wid you whole cabinet and de Goat. You can all choose who performs and who Ah spectators.

    Sick neargah Tummuck now😡🤬😡

  18. Were all those white people who came in on their private planes and yachts from high covid countries, over the holidays, tested or quarantined? Continue to blame Antiguans.

  19. Look at this bullshit dictator and traitor Gaston is saying. After making comments a few days ago how he may have been exposed to the virus but in none of those times did he sought to quarantine himself or get tested. Now he has the balls to say this!

    This power hungry dictator and traitor should never be voted in again.

    Where are Nigel Christian’s killers? How is it possible in a small island like this they haven’t caught them yet? Is it because his execution was directed from those in high positions?

  20. Antigua people get what they vote for. The contempt the ALP has for Antigua people has no bounds.

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