New COVID strain could reverse plans to lift SOE


Prime Minister Gaston Browne has warned AntiguanS and Barbudians that the country could be one of the first Caribbean states to detect a case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

According to Browne, Antigua’s strong air link with the United Kingdom, which recently detected its first case of the Omicron variant, is both a blessing and a curse since the virus could be brought in by an unsuspecting traveller.

“You can be assured that if there is any significant spread in the United Kingdom it will end up here in the Caribbean. We will monitor the development of this particular strain within the upcoming weeks,” Browne said.

The World Health Organisation labelled Omicron as a variant of concern last week after researchers in South Africa found that it had several mutations from the original COVID-19 virus that made it more transmissible.

Antigua and Barbuda has restricted entry to travellers who have visited South Africa, Botswana, Belgium and Hong Kong within the last 14 days.

There are fears that Omicron is able to escape from anti-bodies developed by COVID-19 vaccines.

Browne noted plans to discontinue the curfew and state of emergency on December 23 could be scrapped since they will be needed to prevent Omicron from taking root in Antigua.

The country now has 16 active COVID-19 infections which is down from over 1,100 just three months ago.

About 57 per cent of Antiguans and Barbudians are vaccinated against COVID-19 and the government hopes to have over 60,000 islanders vaccinated by December 31.

Browne has called on the island’s unvaccinated population to take a shot of the vaccines available in the country since they are effective against present strains.

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  1. Why restrict entry from the three countries mentioned but not from othes that also have positive cases of Omicron? And, fyi, the virus was detected in Botswana nationals that lives abroad; it didn’t originate in Africa.
    If the virus has so many mutations that the CONCERN is that it could evade vaccine induced immunity, how will taking a vaccine that may not be able block it help the country?
    For those that are not part of the Papal WHO cult,

  2. Continuation: Australia purchased 14 doses per person to be giving 2 times a year. So this will continue for the next 7 years bringing us close enough to 2030…. #Agenda 2030.

  3. Not saying it’s unimportant but we like a panic! – The South African doctor who raised alarm about omicron variant says symptoms are ‘unusual but mild’

    • Exactly, and for a more well balanced and unbiased view, see Dr John Campbell’s excellent video, titled: ‘Omicron Objectivity’ on the YouTube Channel …

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