NICHOLAS: Surge in COVID-19 cases would be worse without curfew


Information Minister Melford Nicholas said as bad as the country’s COVID-19 situation is, it would be worse without the current 6 pm to 5 am curfew.

At the weekly Cabinet press briefing on Friday, Nicholas was asked whether the 11-hour curfew was having any effect given the continued surge in new coronavirus cases in the country.

The current curfew hours came into force on February 16 and will remain in effect until at least March 15.

Nicholas explained the curfew had reduced opportunities for people to socialize.

“The socialization of persons is one of the avenues that allows and lends itself to spreading where people get into, you know, relaxed behaviour, without wearing masks and being at bars where it is infeasible for persons to be masked up while they are drinking and having a good time,” he said.

“Because the stuff is within the population and because of the fact that there are persons who can be inadvertently spreading it what we’re actually seeing through the contact tracing regime and the increased amount of testing that is being done, we’re uncovering instances where persons would have contracted the virus and are making them wholesome again,” he explained.

The Information Minister said he believed “it would have been much worse if the levels of infection are what they are, and we were still having social functions that could allow people to inadvertently comingle with the healthy part of the population and be asymptomatic and spread the virus in these circumstances.”

“So, as bad as it is, it could be worse, and yes, the curtailment of these social functions is certainly helping”, he concluded.

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  1. OK Minister so, by your logic, we will have had 12+ days of 11-hour curfew from Monday 1 March therefore we SHOULD see a reduction in active cases from end of this week as the evening transmissions are stopped and incubation period is complete.
    (Not forgetting air & sea borders are open with no quarantine for tourists! ).
    Let’s see if the Cabinet’s logic makes sense,
    Or, if like many countries, a complete lockdown for 2-4 weeks is what reduces infection rates.

    A ray of light will be IF mass vaccinations actually happen in next 2-6 weeks, we should see significant reductions in numbers by end of April / May. (acknowledging herd so-called immunity is not achieved until 22 days after 80% of population have received their second shot – maybe July/August)

    • He said the curfew reducing the RATE OF INCREASE! Therefore you should NOT expect to see a reduction in active cases, you are twisting his words… Government of this country doing a good job, Antigua isn’t a metropolis of 100 million people, just because one country do something don’t mean you should just blindly copy it. Full lockdown not work for Antigua, community is different, urbanization is different, climate, culture & socialization all completely different, so different strategy needed. Let our government do it job.

  2. Its going to be a time when words is not enough for changes to take place 13 is not greater than a population of 100000. The moment people realize and awake the quicker change will come

  3. People we need to rise up! Say no to the curfew that is only in place to control us and not the virus.

  4. The surge in COVID cases would be non-existent if we had a sensible, uniformed programme for alk ppl entering our shores – be they nationals or tourists.

    Community spread was inevitable when tourists can enter the country, do as they like, go where they like, mix with locals and spread the virus wild.

    That’s what Melford should be studying

    • Like Barbados? Clearly you not watching their numbers. What of Saint Vincent? Recall persons on here, like you are now, suggesting we follow the same protocol they are, yet ignoring the fact that covid still got in. Testing is not going to stop covid, its following the basic protocols: wearing masks/ social distancing hand washing. Watched a presser (15th) with Motley where she lamented the backlog in testing (over 6K samples) due to the lack of reagents. Guy its impossible to use PCR testing for mass testing. Even if we could, we would still miss a few. If we used antigen, you would miss more. Solution: Follow the basis protocols and have sensible measures in place (eg quarantining those in the higher risk category). Just like you claim tourists were doing what they like (I saw many tourists wearing masks and social distancing), (some) locals were doing same

  5. How idiotic! 1-3 cases for about a year then the escalating of cases now the lock down, fear to control the population. People need to be aware to use their senses and dont depend on the lies of the media, the politicians, doctors who are controlled by the politicians. This virus is so deadly none of the world leaders dead yet out of all these countries. Continue to suppress with drastic measures some people is not going to have anything else to loose and act accordingly

  6. For the politicians so loved their people so much, that they go along with the agenda to save mankind trying to protect the people issuing free vaccines to make sure they are healthy but not concerned about how the same people get food to survive

  7. Milford and the clowns in cabinet are using the curfew to control us like dogs! More and more the science shows lock downs and curfews don’t work! But Gaston is using this to control us. CMO and Molwyn are another bunch of dunce they over react to everything. Look at the US states that don’t lock down have less deaths and less infections. We need to revolt against this Government and their stupid measures. People are starving while they eat steak and bacon and eggs. They don’t care about us!

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