Health Minister Molwyn Joseph has issued a warning to persons violating safety protocols by staging private parties and other social events with large gatherings, saying they risk prosecution.
Joseph was on Observer radio yesterday expressing disappointment with residents’ response to the “crisis”. He said that residents are “not exercising personal responsibility” in curtailing the spread of the coronavirus.
“It’s very upsetting. We have healthcare workers working overtime to arrest the spread of Covid-19 in this country while people go frolicking around as if everything is normal. It’s like carnival,” he added.
“We know there are private parties being held and I am going to be asking for more strict enforcement of the regulations and the law.” said Joseph.
Antigua and Barbuda has recorded 66 laboratory confirmed cases of the virus since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Dr. Joey John, a private physician, recently was engaged to test 66 staff at the Hodges Bay Resort and Spa. Based on his test four people were tested positive with the virus.
However, the four tests have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad for further scrutiny.
Meanwhile, government is poised to roll out mass Covid testing of workers in institutions across the country, including schools, the hospital, the national prison, the Fiennes Institute for the elderly and vulnerable, and Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital.
Minister Joseph said the prison, which this week saw the resumption of visits to inmates, had seen no cases of the virus to date.
“Prison staff will be tested for Covid as a matter of priority because they are the ones that leave, go out into society and come back. The prisoners being confined will be tested eventually, but workers are the priority,”
“And that goes for every institution in Antigua and Barbuda … where you have a lot of physical interaction between individuals, the workers must be tested as a matter of priority.” said Joseph