Officials explain why no eclipse shades were purchased for public


The Ministry of Health has been explaining why no eclipse shades were purchased for distribution to the public.

Residents have questioned why the protective eyewear was not purchased and handed out, as was the case in 1998 when the region experienced a full solar eclipse.

In a news release, the ministry of health said because this will be the first total eclipse to be seen in much of the USA in several decades, “there has been an overwhelming demand for genuine eclipse shades.”

The release said, “so great has been the demand that they soon went scarce, and an abundance of fake eclipse shades have appeared on the market.”

“For that reason, we in Antigua and Barbuda have been unable to obtain eclipse eye shades from any of the approved manufacturers,” it added.

Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr James Knight is urging residents to find the safest way to view the solar eclipse since Antigua and Barbuda has been unable to obtain approved eclipse eyeshades.

Sanctioned manufacturers have run out and an abundance of fake glasses have ended up on the market.

The astronomical event begins about 2:22 pm, reaches maximum eclipse at 3:42 and ends about 4:51 pm.

Antigua and Barbuda will see a partial eclipse while much of the United States (US) will view a total eclipse.

Dr Knight continues to express the sentiments of other professionals for persons not to view Monday’s event without genuine protective eye wear.

“The very fact that it is only partial makes it even more dangerous, since at all times there will be a significant portion of the sun still exposed and sending its ultraviolet rays directly to us, with potential for serious damage to our eyes,” Dr Knight said.

He said a quick glance might not be that harmful, but advised against it.

Genuine eclipse shades should carry an ISO endorsement and the number 12312-2 and modern welder’s goggles- #13 or #14, according to the acting CMO, may be used.

He said children can construct simple pin-hole projectors with small cardboard boxes to view the spectacular show.

However, “In the absence of any safe device for viewing the eclipse, persons are advised just to watch it via television or the internet,” Dr Knight added.


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  1. Is everything government must always buy? We as citizens and residents need to stop this culture where we think government must do everything. Its soon time for salary and I want my pay on time so stop pressuring the government about eclipse shades and lets buy ours.

    • JayR, Movada was paid US $75,000, Taurus US $45,000+. They give out thousands of ham and turkey every Christmas. Not to mention the Air Condition Garage. All those monies would given us more than enough eclipse glasses. So they pick and choose what to “waste” money on? The excuse that Mr. Knight gave was a lazy one. They put no effort whatsoever in securing glasses. Don’t you think protecting your citizens while allowing them to see a once in a lifetime (albeit a partial eclipse) is worth spending money on?

      • Dunlop, you are spot on! JayR sounds so much like so naive, selfish and politically compromised politically that he can’t even see clearly that the authorities DID lapse in their obligation to secure the public’s safety. What salary? We voted for them so that our salaries are secure and sure…we WORK so we are not hoping/wishing that they have our pay ready..We are not begging..we gave them the mandate to do OUR business. Now,tell me…where the hell could an ordiinary resident get hold of one of these specially manufactured glasses, my dear wiseacre? Smady in authority wouda haffu import dem…Tap mek ah-we sound dunce!

  2. Well i known of this eclipse since before the year start they should have bought for the event government always waiting on last momemt to do stuff like when election is closeby they started to do work wat happen to all the time that passed chupzzz excuses

  3. I c these people think we are all preschoolers. You had companies in the US producing 500,000 glasses a day. No effort was made on our part to secure any. The heads were too busy outfitting garages with air condition.

  4. It’s not about viewing the Eclipse but knowing the true meaning and protecting ourself and nation from demons and witchcraft that our nation and the
    world may be expose to at a time like that. Let’s just pray for our nation and the world at a time like this to be spared from the evil of this wicked world.

  5. I tried to buy & it has been sold out for months now …I mean buy your own glasses if you so wanted to see the eclipse , the government don’t have to buy it smh ….and for the person talking about ham & turkey don’t you think that’s more important ? Plenty persons have nothing to eat & are more than happy to receive them …some of you are ungrateful .

  6. Dem Labourite an dem sound dunce no wha…wha mek Antigua Newsroom nuh block em fram comment? Dem always ah sing fu dem supper…dem brains inna eclipse mode..well sah!!

  7. Well well well…eclipse glasses 🤔🤔🤔 for SOMETHING Antiguans wont be able to see anyway but i guess its the thought that counts😎😎😎…
    In a state of the art hospital that dnt have a/c in ICU
    Young ppl that just left school NO JOBS
    But jeeezzeee we worrying with eclipse glasses
    Ppl get your PRIORITIES STR8!!!

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